3D printing’s real value is that you can whip up objects in all kinds of whacky geometries with a minimum of fuss. However, there’s almost always some post-processing to do. Burrs, strings and rough edges are common in plastic objects. To remove these burrs, you should not use a sharp knife. As explained by [Adrian Kingsley-Hughes] On, ZDNet, A deburring tool can be a cheap and simple solution.
If you haven’t used one before, a deburring tool simply consists of a curved metal blade that swivels relative to its straight handle. The blade will neatly remove burrs when you drag it over an edge, whether it’s metal, plastic, or wooden. There’s minimal risk of injury, unlike when pulling a regular blade towards yourself. The curved, swivelling blade is much less liable to slip or jump, and if it does, it’s far less likely to cut you.
You can use any deburring tool for plastic. These tools are durable and require little maintenance. If you use them on metals they will wear out quicker, but replacement blades are cheap. It’s a tool every workshop should have, particularly given they generally cost less than $20.
Given the ugly edges and rafts we’re always having to remove from our 3D prints, it’s almost egregious that printers don’t come with them bundled in the box. They’re just a bit obscure when it comes to tools; this may in fact be the first time Hackaday’s ever covered one. If you’ve got your own quality-of-life hacks for 3D printing, sound off below, or share them on the tipsline! Email us. We’re waiting for you.