I recently 3D printed a Colt 45 Model 1911 using a Formlabs Form 2 SLA 3D printer. I used clear resin. I had advice from a professional 3D printing company that spraying the model with clear coat makes it look as clear as when it first emerges from the printer. I tried this technique with great results!
Here is the model before treatment.
This is three pieces printed separately, then sanded and epoxied together. I could assemble the model digitally, but at full scale it was too large to print in the Form 2.
I sprayed clear coat (gloss) on the model with the following result.
What a difference! Note that I also sprayed clear coat in to the barrel and then shook it out. You can actually see the rifling inside of the barrel!
Here is a picture of my hand holding the model. This is printed at 100% scale. It is a very accurate model. I can even read the words printed on the slide.
I used a different brand of clear coat than was suggested by the professional company. I don’t think any specific brand is important. The clear coat is filling in small bumps on the model surface so that it becomes more translucent.
I highly suggest this simple technique to anyone who wants to make nice looking clear 3D SLA prints.
I’m selling this and a bunch of other great 3D printed stuff on Etsy