How to Make a PLA Part Shiny: Dual-Color Soccer Bear Keychains

Make a PLA Part Shiny

How to make a PLA part shiny and smooth

When 3D printing, it’s important to ensure proper adhesion of your print to the build plate or 3D printing surface. If the print does not stick well to the 3D printing surface, the part might become loose and flop around, causing the print to fail. Many of us have experienced this and it is very frustrating!

Many 3D printing enthusiasts use painter’s tape in order to get the PLA to stick to the print bed properly. One of the problems with this is that the bottom of the part ends up imprinted with the wrinkled-looking texture from the tape. But what if you want to make a PLA part shiny instead? Others will recommend the use of glue sticks – however, a glue stick will sometimes leave a cloudy residue finish on the surface. With Wolfbite Nano, you get maximum adhesion, zero warpage, and a super clean, glossy surface that even these bad news bears can be proud of!

Sports Team 3D Printing
This fun 3D printing project was inspired by a Wolfpack member’s daughter who wanted to created some 3D-printed schwag for her soccer team. Go Blue Bears!

Create the model of your Soccer Bear keychain

To create Soccer Bear keychains, start with this model of a bear-shaped cookie cutter. It is available to download for free from Thingiverse: Teddy Bear Cookie Cutter by Protnik.

Import the model into Tinkercad and convert it into a “hole.” TIP: You can import any .STL file into Tinkercad and convert it into a hole. This is an indispensable technique because it allows you to transform the open area of a 3D model into a solid shape. A particularly fun trick to use with 3D models of cookie cutters, Tinkercad’s hole function allows you to generate a printable model of the shape created by the cookie cutter.

Make 3D Printed Souvenirs in Tinkercad
Create your custom 3D-printed keychain using the “hole” cut-out function in Tinkercad.

The reverse is also true: If you convert a solid shape into a “hole,” you can use the resulting cookie-cutter-like hole to “cut” the hole’s shape into another object.

Next, take a model of a soccer ball and repeat the process, importing it into Tinkercad and converting it into a hole. Use the resulting shape to “cut” the soccer ball impression into the center of the bear.

Personalize your keychain by adding some text like a message, team name, or the name of the event or occasion for which you’re making the keychains.

Custom 3D Printed Keychains Tinkercad

Now you’re ready to print! Wolfbite NANO is the shiny surface PLA 3d printer adhesive

Apply your Wolfbite Nano to the glass. Remember, this step is crucial to make a PLA part shiny because the Nano will provide a perfectly smooth surface area for the part to bond to while printing.

To achieve good adhesion, the print surface needs to be smooth and clean. There should be no traces of oil, grease or fingerprints on the build plate. Hint: While Wolfbite NANO is the perfect shiny surface PLA 3d printer adhesive, please refer to our other Wolfbite adhesives to determine the recommended Wolfbite adhesion for the material you’re using, such as polycarbonate, nylon or ABS.

It’s also important to regularly clean the build plate. Without this, the print surface may become uneven, which could cause adhesion problems. Remove excessive Wolfbite with clean water. You can also use rubbing alcohol to get rid of greasy fingerprints.

Get PLA to Stick to Print Bed 3D Printing

Wolfbite NANO will promote strong adhesion of your PLA part and will also minimize warping (when the corners of the 3D-printed material curl up at the bottom layer of a print).

Make a multi-color print WITHOUT a dual head printer!

Start the print with your first color. In this case, it’s blue PLA. After one hour, pause the print and remove the filament. Load your PLA filament in your second color and hit “resume.” Voila! Super easy. Repeat this process to swap out your different colored filaments again and ensure that you have the right colors in the right places.

3D Print 2 Colors Single Head Printer

TIP: Make a note of your times for changing filament colors. Chances are that people will love your multicolored print and you will have to make some more!

After the parts cool, they release from the bed easily and look perfectly smooth, shiny, and beautiful!

Learn More About Wolfbite Nano →