Finishing a 3D print

This is a multi part post showing how I went from a 3D model I found on the internet to a finished product. The earlier sections are:

One of the most important parts of getting a print to look great is to remove the step lines that are a natural part of the printing process. By decreasing the step size, these lines can become much less noticeable. One method I like to use is a chemical sold by the brand Smooth-On named XTC-3D. It is very important to follow the instructions. If the consistency is wrong it will either take a very long time to dry or it will not flow correctly.

As with many things, getting your work place set up in advance is key to success.


The reason I’ve elevated the statue on a dixie cup is to allow the material to drip (gravity plays a role again). This way it will not stick to the paper covering my work surface. The bottom edge will require a little sanding where the excess material accumulates, but that is quick work.

Here I’d like to demonstrate the difference applying this material can make.

One obvious difference is how glossy the print comes out. It may not be obvious, but you can still see the step lines through the glossy coating. This is why I prefer to paint the model afterward, though some people are happy with the result immediately after coating.

I think this shot really helps you see the difference. You may also note that you will lose some of the sharpness of the statue, but often that is a worthwhile tradeoff.

The last thing I typically do after coating the model is any final sanding and then painting. I find using an airbrush to be fun and extremely useful for these models. I try to build up layers of color. Here I’ve used Golden High Flow Acrylic paints. Colors used

  • Burnt Sienna
  • Hansa Yellow Medium
  • Raw Sienna
  • Iridescent Gold (fine)
  • Transparent Red Iron Oxide

Here is my final product:


This has been an incredibly fun project. I hope some of you have found my steps and results informative. The only thing not shown is that I will put at least one layer of clear coat on the statue to protect the paint.

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