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Cleaning up the Panels before Construction.

edited April 2015 in Tips & Tricks
Hi Everybody,

When I first received my kit I thought it would look much better if the cut edges of the polycarbonate side/top panels were smooth and polished. As an experiment I took the time to sand down the rough edges and then polish using finer and finer sand paper, finally finishing with steel wool.

It was time consuming and messy but think it was worth the effort.

If you want to do the same it's best done before removing the protective plastic, you do not want to accidentally scratch the pristine surfaces.

1. Start by sanding the edges using a coarse 60 grit sand paper until the entire edge was the same texture. You will reach a point where the 60 grit has removed all the larger marks and further sanding doesn't make it any smoother.
2. Repeat the sanding with a finer grit sandpaper. I worked my way though 60, 150, 240, 400, 800, 1200 grit and finally buffed with 00-0 fine steel wool.

Each time I went to a finer grit it improved the smoothness and clarity. Pictured below (left to right) the three side pieces with their centre screw holes aligned to highlight the difference in clarity between 800 grit, 1200 grit and steel wool.
800, 1200 and Steel Wool

I think the final assembly benefited because sliding the slight rounded and smoothed side pieces into the 3d printed corners was easy, though in hindsight I should've tried to smooth the Flat Flexible Cable slot too. I also don't have to worry about the power/usb cables getting damaged if they rub against the hole.


Here is a close up of the edges/holes around the stepper motor mount:
Close up

Let me know what you think.

p.s. Can someone include a similar close up for comparison?
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