|This spot is the hottest on an iron of this make.|
3D printed objects with large flat areas can have their looks improved by ironing the top surface, which is a feature in Cura. This is done by running the hot end over the top of the print, to help smooth it into a smooth surface.
It is also possible to literally iron a print with a clothes iron, which I tried in a few different ways. It works, but there are some gotchas. Here is a short list of my observations:
- A medium setting on the iron is better than the hottest setting. My iron was at about 80-90 degrees Celsius. Too hot, and the plastic softens too quickly and you lose control.
- The tip of the iron is where heat is concentrated. The middle and bottom are considerably cooler.
- Use a sheet of parchment paper between the iron and the print, otherwise you risk plastic softening and sticking to the iron.
- Move quickly, and inspect the results. Treat it like spray painting, where many thin applications are better than one heavy one that may go overboard.
- There is no need to "press down" on the iron. Just let gravity do the work. Concentrate on being even.
- Make sure you have plenty of top layers in the print, and a good infill doesn't hurt either.