It would take a trained eye to see that Justine Haupt's 3D-printed concertina (a relative to the accordion) isn't actually made from wood.
 
The instrument is made of wood-filled plastic filament. Haupt achieved a wooden look through 60-grit sanding, stain, wood finish, and some elbow grease.
 
"I use 60-grit sandpaper to completely remove the  printed surface finish," she says on her website. "60-grit might seem excessively course but I feel the results are better this way, in part because one must be sure to completely remove the natural finish. Also, the deep gouges left by the course grit seem to more closely match natural wood grain.
 
Shown fresh out of the printer - before sanding and finishing.
"The sandpaper is what leaves the wood-like grain, so it's important to sand in one direction only. In this case it was much easier to sand the perimeter wall, as I was able to take advantage of the printed layer lines. In hindsight, it might be better to print something like this on-edge to take advantage of this effect where it most matters. In the end, even with all the sanding, the perimeter walls were most convincingly wooden."
 
Haupt has quite the portfolio - having founded a robotics company as well as building and designing a usable rotary-dial cellphone.
 
 
 
 

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