Guide: 3D Print Welding


Rock Lobbster

Active Member
Stream Team
Member DIN
S098
I've gotten a few questions over the discord and on the forums how I do "print welding" on my 3d prints so I figured I would use the most recent messed up helmet as a demo!

Tools:
  • Soldering Iron (woodburning tip preferred)
  • Extra material of whatever you used to print the item
  • Sharp knife
  • Respirator (not shown but a good half face respirator)
  • (Optional) 3D printing pen
  • Sandpaper & rotary tool for cleanups.
20210919_154633.jpg


Shown here is the layer shift I got on the helmet, this one is a pretty big shift so I wanted to use it as an example.
20210919_154640.jpg


Start by cutting the helmet at the layer shift and removing excess material that may get in the way. You'll want to "dryfit" the helmet together to see how it lines up
20210919_155558.jpg


Grab your 3d printing pen (if you have one) and start creating little "tack welds" in crucial areas to hold the helmet together. You'll want to use variable speeds for extruding the material and filling in the gaps. Just fill in all the gaps and areas inbetween on the outside and inside of the helmet. It's ok if there's a little extra sitting ontop, that will be helpful for the next step.
20210919_171237.jpg


Heat up that soldering iron to about 350 C (for PLA) and start gently pushing the plastic around to fill in the gaps. I essentially scrape it using the flat side of the woodburning tool so the liquid plastic goes over and fills in the gap and the areas next to the weld. Repeat this for the entirety of the seamline, sanding and adding more plastic when neeeded.
20210919_192735.jpg


You'll see that the weld is a bit rough here but it will get cleaned up in post using bondo spot putty and sanding it down.
20210919_192740.jpg


And voila! You have a repaired print that is quite strong and looks good! now it's just time to sand the rest of the helmet!
20210919_193554.jpg


That's all from me, if you have any questions feel free to ask!
CQB file by TurboCharizard
 

UltimateSpartan

New Member
Excellent tutorial! I shall try this on my next print. I do have a question though. When you are gently pushing the plastic around to fill in the gaps, are you pushing the plastic from the 3d pen that is sitting on top and already in the seam deeper into it? Or are you pushing the outer layers of the two shells into the seam? It looks like in the second last picture as if you are doing the former.
 

Rock Lobbster

Active Member
Stream Team
Member DIN
S098
Excellent tutorial! I shall try this on my next print. I do have a question though. When you are gently pushing the plastic around to fill in the gaps, are you pushing the plastic from the 3d pen that is sitting on top and already in the seam deeper into it? Or are you pushing the outer layers of the two shells into the seam? It looks like in the second last picture as if you are doing the former.
You want to push the mass of plastic from the printing pen onto the outer pieces!
 

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