A 3D Print Refiner

By on April 4th, 2013 in Hardware

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We’ve seen countless startup 3D printer companies launch crowd funding campaigns in the past year. Now we’re seeing a plethora of 3D printing accessory devices sprout from the minds of world’s entrepreneurs. Today’s 3D print accessory is the 3D Refiner. 
3D Prints Express’s 3D Refiner attempts to solve one of the banes of early 3D print operators: poor surface finish. The two founders were 3D print enthusiasts, but were puzzled by surface finish. If they 3D printed an object quickly, they had the worst resolution. If they 3D printed at the best resolution, they’d wait for many hours. They tried numerous approaches to quickly obtain a refined surface on prints, but eventually discovered that bathing the object in a solvent while applying continuous solvent flow worked best. 
They developed the 3D Refiner around this discovery. It looks like an aquarium filled with solvent and a dipper that holds and rotates the object in front of the solvent flow. Using this technology they claim they can produce objects whose finish is difficult to distinguish from long-running high-resolution 3D prints. 
We suspect this approach is quite feasible for certain object geometries as there are some shapes that actually do require highly detailed printing. But other shapes that have merely curves and planes could really benefit from a dip in the 3D Refiner. 
If you want to get one of these, there are still a very few available at their Indiegogo campaign at USD$299. However, be warned that they’re shipping only within the US at this time. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!