XTC-3D Coating Review
By: Shayne Circe
Hey everyone Shayne here at Filabot back with another great product for you. As you would expect here at Filabot we’re constantly printing whether it be parts we are designing or prototyping, parts that we actually use in our shop, or doing various print jobs for ourselves and others. With all the print jobs we do we are always seeing the striations between print layers. It’s just one of small downfalls with 3D printing. We offer our 3D Smoothing Pen which does okay for small amounts of work but it’s hard to do in quantity. The pen works by breaking down the outer layer of plastic and smoothing it down, which may not always be desirable. It’s also limited in the fact that it only works on ABS plastic. The XTC-3D coating is made up of Epoxy Resin and coats the outside of the part. The best part is that it’s self-leveling meaning that you don’t have to be careful when you’re applying it. Once it’s applied it fills in those striations between print layers and as it dries it leaves you with a glossy smooth outside finish. From there you can do anything you want to it, leave it how it is, sand it down to further smooth the outside and leave a dull finish, and even paint over it. If you desire a certain color or finish from the resin you can mix it with colors from Smooth-on® or metal powders for a metallic finish. The XTC-3D coating also isn’t limited in the materials it can be used with because it’s just a coating. It can be used to coat any plastic approved to be printed with, as well as wood, foam, paper, and just about anything else.
We decided to give the XTC-3D coating a try in our shop to show you guys how well it really works. Preparation for using it is very straight forward, BUT READ THE DIRECTIONS FIRST! I would suggest working on a surface that you don’t mind getting dirty, or even laying down some paper to work on. Start by gathering everything together, your part that you are coating, and the supplies inside the package. Inside you will find:
- Instruction manual (START HERE)
- One large bottle labeled “A”
- One smaller bottle labeled “B”
- A small measuring cup
- Stirring stick
- Disposable Brush
The directions have you start by making a tin foil plate to disperse the XTC-3D onto after mixing. The reason for this being that Epoxy dries exothermally meaning that it creates heat, and it creates more heat by volume, so, by spreading it thinly out it extends your working time with it greatly. If you don’t have tin foil you just need a flat surface made of metal, plastic, or a wax free paper. After that you begin by mixing parts A and B together in the measuring cup. You mix the two resins together at a 2-1 (2 parts A to 1 part B) ratio. Stir the two together vigorously for about a minute in the cup using the stick. Once proper mixing is achieved you can dispense the A and B combination onto your flat surface. Then it’s as easy as painting it onto your part. I would highly recommend wearing gloves for this part. You don’t have to be too careful because like I mentioned before, it self-levels as it dries, you just need to make sure that it’s not applied too heavily in places or filling in any essential pieces of your part. Once your part is completely coated either hang, or place it so that it won’t adhere to a surface, remember, it is an Epoxy resin. The coating cures in roughly 3 ½ hours in normal indoor temperatures (~70⁰ F or ~21⁰C).
Alright, time to give this stuff a shot. Below you can see a couple printed parts that we had laying around in the shop that I decided to use as test subjects. One I’m treating half with the XTC and the other half plain so you can see the difference. The other one I treated with one coat, sanded, and decided to do another coat to see if the results got better with additional layers, sanded again, and painted. The before pictures are above and after pictures are below each.
Overall I’m pretty impressed with the XTC-3D Coating. It did everything as advertised, coated the parts very well, was sandable, and left a good smooth surface behind. My paint job could have been better but regardless you can see the results. No lines between print layers, and a nice even smooth finish. That’s all I’ve got for you guys today so hop on over our to pick some up for yourself! Happy Printing everyone!