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  1. #1
    Engineer
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    Sep 2013
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    New Jersey, USA
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    Smoothing 3D Printed Objects With an Acetone Vapor Bath

    I thought this was pretty amazing. You can smooth out all the lines created during FDM 3d printing, which make your prints look not exactly the best. The trick is to use an Acetone Vapor bath. SinkHacks has done a nice how-to for such a process here: http://sinkhacks.com/building-aceton...printed-parts/

    Check out how awesome these came out. the Owl on the right is straight out of a 3d printer. The owl on the left has been bathed in the vapor acetone bath. The difference between the two are simply amazing:


    The exact process is listed at the site. The Materials you will need to get to create the bath are as follows:

    Acetone
    Desk fan (For ventilation)
    Electric range stove
    Nylon string
    Thermometer (with non-ABS plastic wire jacket on thermocouple)
    Aluminum foil
    A Medium sized Pot
    Light that Clamps to a desk
    Mason jar
    Rag (Cloth)




    Has anyone here ever done this? What is the cost of acetone?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    NSW, Australia
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    Been doing it for over a year now and to be honest, don't bother much anymore, I paint most of my models so I want a matte finish on them before painting, if I want to have them glossy smooth I just spray enamel them now.

    The spray enamel doesnt look as good, but we're talking a quick spray with a can as opposed to all that acetone vapour and messing around - but yeah, acetone does give the best result. I also needed to buy a bottle of it from the hardware store, my wifes nail polish remover which apparently was packed full of acetone just didn't work.

    This is the cheapo $2 shop stuff, it bonds with ABS really well - as I said no doesnt look as good as acetone but you are not losing any detail at all, whcih can happen easily if you soak your model in vapour too long.

    But the real main reason I don't acetone vapour anymore is because I'm lazy. and spraying them is much easier lol



    As far as cost, it's like $10-20 for half a litre... granted you only need a tiny bit to do the job.

    You can also place a block of wood in the bottom of a jar, fill the jar with acetone until the block is almost covered and place your item on the block, it allows gravity to work better and things droop downward, not upsidown like in the picture.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Salon-Qua...e06e80a&_uhb=1
    Last edited by Geoff; 04-10-2014 at 12:54 AM.

  3. #3
    What type of surface do you put this on after taking them out of the Acetone bath? Also how do you get your items in and out of the bath?

  4. #4
    As for a surface, I'd say any glass surface should be fine. Stay away from granite at all costs!

    I tried this, but I think I left them in for too long. I ended up losing so much of my fine details. What is the typical time you are supposed to leave these in for?

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