3D Pad System – Keeping it simple…
One of the most confusing topics when you’re first getting into machine polishing is trying to figure out which pads to buy? There are hundreds of different types of pads, sizes of pads, colors of pads and even shapes of pads. Here at 3D we keep it simple. For most people and most detailing projects, you only need access to 3 different types of pads:
Cutting – This is our dark purple foam pad.
Polishing – This is our light purple foam pad.
Finishing – This is our black foam pad.
Maximize gloss and clarity with 3D’s spider-cut design 3.5” foam pads
Some people think foam is foam, but this is simply not true. There’s a lot of chemistry and physics that go into the design of a quality foam pad. 3D’s quality foam buffing pads use the latest in foam chemistry to create pads that simply outperform the competition.
Different chemicals can be added to a foam formula to make foam react differently under time, heat, and pressure and exposure to liquids or chemicals. Simple, non-descript foam pads cost less and that’s because they do less. Cheap pads also don’t last as long.
Unique foam structure
Run your hand over the face of a clean, dry 3D 3.5” black spider-cut finishing pad and you’ll feel a super soft, plush foam surface. This pad is for doing final polishing work after more aggressive compounding and polishing steps. The soft foam texture provides little to no cut depending upon the product and paint.
The slotted spider-cuts across the face of our foam finishing pad flex when spinning against the surface, this increases their surface area, which increases their finishing ability for faster refining of the surface and finishing swirl-free and show car quality.
The spider-cut structure flexes to open up when buffing allowing the polish powders or abrasives to migrate in-between the spider-cuts trapping them in the pad for extended work time and more efficient finishing and refining of the surface. As you’re buffing, the abrasives have greater contact against the surface for a more efficient finishing-effect.
The open-cell design also offers great tensile strength as compared to closed-cell foam pads and this means they are more tear-resistant and thus last longer.
Cooler buffing temperatures
The slotted spider-cuts across the face of the pad flex as you buff allowing better air movement over and through the pad for improved heat transfer from the pad to the air. This helps keep surface temperatures lower and helps to prevent the face of the pad from bowling-in.
Excellent finishing range
3D’s 3.5” black spider-cut finishing pads are versatile because they offer very light polishing to very fine finishing simply by changing the product. To get light cutting or the ultimate flawless finish, use with 3D’s 502, 520, ONE or SPEED.
These pads offer a great range of polishing options, and the foam is extra durable. 3D’s buffing pads don’t cost more money, they make you more money.
Our 3.5” black spider-cut finishing pads work great on any type of polisher including rotary polishers, long stroke polishers, short stroke polishers, free spinning polishers, and gear-driven polishers.
3D Foam Pads are made to last and get the job done.
What is it?
High performance super soft foam finishing pad for use with rotary and orbital polishers.
What does it do?
When used with 3D polishes and AIOs, these foam finishing pads will refine the results from the previous step while maximizing gloss and clarity.
When do you use it?
Typically foam finishing pads are used when you want to create the most perfect, mirror-like finish. When doing multiple step paint correction, a finishing pad is used for the last step after more aggressive steps like compounding and polishing. Depending upon your expectations for final finish quality, the finishing step can be an optional step if the polishing step created the results you were looking for and expecting.
Why use 3D’s 3.5” Black Spider-Cut Finishing pads over other options?
All the foam used to create 3D’s foam pads is of the highest quality. Cheap foam buffing pads don’t last long because the foam tears-up or bowls inward when exposed to high temperatures from heavy compounding.
3D’s foam buffing pads use advanced foam chemistry where the foam is modified and tuned for specific functions like durability, heat and chemical resistance, sustained cell wall structure under extreme work loads for more uniform polishing performance from start to finish.
Always work on a cool clean surface in the shade.
Step 1: Attach and center pad onto backing plate. Using compressed air or a pad cleaning brush, ensure the face of the pad is clean and free from any contaminants.
Professional Technique Tips
Switch to fresh, clean dry pads often
While foam buffing pads can offer excellent cutting, polishing and finish compared to fiber pads, it is the nature of foam to absorb liquids. This means as you’re working around a car, each time you add fresh product to the pad and then buff – a portion of the liquid in the product you’re using migrates to the inside of the foam pad. Within a few panels, the pad will become wet or saturated with product. This means it will also become heavier then when it was clean and dry.
When buffing with any tool and foam pads, you will work faster and more efficiently if you switch to a clean, dry foam pad often. For example, buff two panels, say the roof and the trunk lid and then switch to a clean dry pad before moving onto the hood. Same for the vertical sides. Buff a front fender and a door and the switch to a fresh, clean, dry pad.
Not only will you work faster because dry foam is more effective than wet foam, but your results will be better and more consistent from panel to panel and as a bonus – your pads will last longer over time.
When it comes to buffing with foam pads – more pads are better.
Clean your pads often
Let me share an analogy to make a point.
When you’re buffing anything out, car, truck, rv, motorcycle, boat, etc. After you buff a section, don’t you then take a microfiber towel and wipe off the residue on this section? Of course you do.
This residue you wipe off is a combination of the product you’re using, for example a compound or a polish plus particles of the surface you’re buffing as the surface is being abraded – thus you’re removing tiny particles of it. This is what is inside the residue you’re wiping off.
Now think about it… this same residue is on the face of your buffing pad. You NEED to clean this residue off the face of the buffing pad for the same reason you wipe the residue off the surface of the area just buffed.
This is called, working clean.
Then when you add fresh product to the pad, you’ll get maximum product and pad performance. You can work faster and get better, more uniform, and more consistent results – especially if you’re also changing to fresh pads often.
If you don’t clean your pad after buffing a section, when you add fresh product to the residue encrusted face of the pad you pollute it and dilute it. That is you mix fresh product with tainted residue thus polluting the fresh product. You also dilute the fresh product because now its going to mix with the spent product and the abraded surface particles. It’s truly working backwards as well as working harder instead of smarter.
If you don’t clean your pad often and instead add fresh product to the face of a buffing pad with spent product and removed paint on it and then buff – the resulting residue on the surface will be more gummy and more difficult to wipe off. This will tire you out, require more microfiber towels and worse yet, you risk re-introducing swirls, scratches and marring to the surface you just perfected because now you’re fighting the product residue off the surface.
Work like a professional and you become a professional
Professionals are people that know more than newbies and they practice professional techniques as they work. Clean your pad often and switch to clean, dry pads often and you’ll be a professional. You’ll get better results faster with less work and your results will be more consistent over all the surfaces of whatever it is you’re buffing out.
- 3D’s softest foam pad - this black foam pad is for final finishing.
- For creating, swirl-free, show car results on any paint.
- Soft foam finishing pad is for maximizing gloss and clarity.
- Use with 3D AAT 502 or 3D ACA 520 for final step paint correction.
- Open cell foam means higher tensile strength than closed cell foam, this means these pads lasts longer.
- Use with rotary and orbital polishers – Fits 3” backing plates
- For removing light or shallow haze, swirls, and holograms.
- Perfect for machine applying liquid waxes.