Friday, April 17, 2015

Smoothing 3D Prints with Acetone

Several months ago I experimented a bit with smoothing 3d printed ABS parts with Acetone. I tried using an acetone pen used for removing fingernail polish with little (no) success. I then tried using a vapor bath approach, by putting a small pool of acetone in the bottom of a glass jar and holding the part above it by some string. After 5-10 minutes there was some slight smoothing, but not at the level I was hoping for. I then bought a cheap electric stove to heat the acetone in the jar and had much better results. However, even on the very lowest setting the stove was hot enough to boil the acetone almost instantly. This had the effect of smoothing the part in 5-10 seconds but even using the setup outside I wasn't very comfortable about the fumes I was releasing. This definitely falls under the category of "do not try this at home", and especially not inside.

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