Salvaging a failed or problematic 3D print
As 3D builders and printers, we’ve all had at least one failed print or a print that couldn't be used for its original design. While frustrating, not to mention time-consuming, there are things you can do to salvage your print, and turn it into an awesome terrain piece.
One print in particular had me stumped - the Speeder Garage. It has quite a long print time, even when printed at 0.2 layer height, and nearly broke my heart when the printer layer shifted with about 80% complete. This meant that as the printer laid down plastic, the whole print area moved about 5mm so there was a very noticeable and unwanted “step” in the model.
It was unusable in this form, so it was either discard the entire piece and lose about 15 hours printing, or use what I had as a basis for a new model.
So, out came my trusty pliers, and I broke the model along the side walls, keeping the front part with the doorway as my starting point. I figured it make a great recessed bunker entrance in a hill/cliffside.
First thing, I needed a base to work from. I had some very cheap 12” vinyl tiles which came as a three pack for €1.50. I sized the terrain piece onto one of these tiles, and cut around it with a hobby knife. I used some caulking to stick the plastic model to the tile, along with a few drops of superglue here and there. I had some spare expanded polystyrene insulation sheets lying around, so I used broken sections of insulation to build up a rough hill shape all around the broken PLA model.
Once that was glued together with caulking, it was time to add some texture and fill gaps.
I used a cheap filler/spackle with a little PVA mixed through, slathered all over the model. I left this to dry overnight, and then painted on more diluted PVA and sprinkled sand over the whole piece.
It was then just a simple process of painting a base coat of grey, followed by a dry brush of a lighter sage green mixed with grey. Various tones of Javis Scenery flock were then sprinkled over and bits of dyed foam and sponge finished off the whole model.