Easy 3D Print smoothing

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Easy 3D Print smoothing gofastvolvo 11/17/12 2:51 AM

I was talking today about some of my ABS smoothing experiments to produce pretty amazing results from a 3D printer.  The idea is to place the part in an environment of vapourised acetone for a short period, and let magic will happen. This is used to eliminate the layer artefacts normally seen on 3D prints.  The whole process takes about 10 minutes.

For this you need a stainless steel steamer set, a fry pan a little bigger than the steamer set and a ABS 3D print you want to make pretty.  This means you can bring the acetone to it's boiling point without having an ignition nearby, and inadvertently blowing up your kitchen.

You pop boiling water in the fry pan at the bottom, a few table spoons (only) of acetone in the bottom of the steamer, and your target in the steaming section.

After a few minutes I took the steamer off the boiling water, leaving the lid on.  I let the whole thing cool in the window, checking it by feeling the outside of the steamer, and only crack the lid once the steamer has cooled, and the vapour has has a chance to condense again.  Because everything remains sealed, there is little to no odour throughout the process. The print might be soft for a few hours until the acetone has had a chance burn off.

This Yoda was printed at 0.1mm on my Printrbot+, so it was pretty good already, but now you would not be able to tell it from an injection moulded part. I think this would be a great practice for gears and tight fitting assemblies, just the same as aesthetic parts.

Happy smoothing!!!

Matt
Re: Easy 3D Print smoothing Max Nippard 11/17/12 3:00 AM
Nice write up Matt, thanks for posting it. 
Bonus points for the Sweaty Yoda file name. 
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Re: Easy 3D Print smoothing Terry Dawson 11/17/12 1:57 PM


On Nov 17, 2012 9:51 PM, "gofastvolvo" <mc7...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I was talking today about some of my ABS smoothing experiments to produce pretty amazing results from a 3D printer.  The idea is to place the part in an environment of vapourised acetone for a short period, and let magic will happen. This is used to eliminate the layer artefacts normally seen on 3D prints.  The whole process takes about 10 minutes.
>

Matt, that looks like a great result. What concentration Acetone did you use? Where did you source it?

regards
Terry

Re: Easy 3D Print smoothing Gav 11/17/12 3:04 PM
Nice writeup and nice model :-D

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Re: Easy 3D Print smoothing Madox 11/17/12 4:09 PM
You can buy 100% acetone from bunnings in the paints section.  Only use scented nail polish for washing hands from CA superglue ;)
Re: Easy 3D Print smoothing Franc Carter 11/18/12 5:11 AM

Interesting - have you tried it with coloured abs ?

When I tried acetone dipping/spraying it leached the colour in some places ;-(

cheers


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Franc
Re: Easy 3D Print smoothing Ian Burton 12/2/12 4:26 PM
Thanks for the writeup - it looks really good (I'll be trying as soon as I can).

100% acetone is also available at BigW...  Nice 'n' local at Top Ryde :)

-IB