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You should NOT have to clean your parts!

With the new processing steps Shapeways has implemented, Fine Detail Plastic bits are ready for priming & painting right out of the bag. 


Before post processing your models always inspect the quality. If you have any concerns about the quality of the model you have received, please get in touch with our Service team before you begin painting.  

General painting tips
It's highly recommended to use primer before you start painting your models. Ordinary model kit paints can be used, satin and matte paints are best . Mix the paint according to the kit instructions, then apply  paint in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding another. It's better to apply several thin layers of paint rather than one thick layer.



The wax on the model will react with isopropyl alcohol and cause it to turn chalky and white. This powdery substance can only be scraped off by hand and this action will void any refunds or replacements of the products.


Reasons you might need to Clean your Fine Detail Plastic models…

1: Wax Build-up
Small amounts of wax can sometimes be trapped in the recesses of your pieces 
(aka, Gun barrels). These can easily be cleaned out using a toothpick or a cotton swab. 


2: Oily or Greasy Parts

The print process for Fine-Detail plastic involves adding wax supports, and then cleaning each model using a hot oil bath. This can sometimes leave a oily residue on the models that may prevent paint from adhering correctly. 

The easiest way to de-grease the models is to submerge them into a mild solution of hot water and dish soap. The water temperature should be around 70ºC/158ºF. Let the parts soak for a 15-30 minutes, the water may turn cloudy as wax and oil separate from your models - you can repeat this process without harming your parts if necessary.



Other Cleaning techniques.

Ultrasonic cleaning:
You can also use an ultrasonic cleaning machine, or dip the models in acetone for about 5 minutes - if you choose to try acetone, make sure to clean the model thoroughly when you're done soaking. When the model is ready to paint, it will no longer feel greasy.  

You can gently polish your model using fine grit sandpaper or toothpaste and a toothbrush. Be careful not to rub away any fine details.