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chiz

DIY Polishing Station

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Thought I'd share this project to anyone here thinking of trying out Polymaker's Polysmooth but on the fence whether to get the Polysher or not. I've developed an alternative that is 1/4 the cost of the original machine.

Full details of the project are posted below:

1. hackaday

2. thingiverse

 

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Edited by Guest
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If I understood things well, this works in a chemical way, very similar to acetone smoothing for ABS, but only with different materials, alcohol soluble? If so, it could be interesting to extrapolate this concept to work with acetone and other materials too. Just make sure the pumps and housings don't melt... :)

However, if you only need to polish objects without fine details, I think a polishing wheel on a drill works a lot faster and gives better results: this takes only a few minutes and gives high gloss. For example, see this video (or google in Youtube for "polishing dental retainer"):

 

For smaller items you could use a tiny polishing wheel, but of course it won't get into very fine details without sanding them off. So it would be perfect for door knobs, clamps, pen holders, big RC model airplanes, car parts, and similar stuff. But not for HO-scale model trains, or tiny figurines.

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To my eyes the Smooth polymer does not look astonishingly good, good yes; difficult to truly assess without knowing layer resolution. I assume that a good PLA print could be put in the Polisher and a similar polished finish produced. Or is there something in the Smooth polymer that reacts better with the Alcohol?

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Yes, this is more of a chemical reaction of the material to a solvent. This contraption uses an ultrasonic mister that does not heat up the solvent to produce mist that would crawl even into small crevices. Actually even the underside of the pokeball was smoothened by the mist!

Also, with the machine, I just put the part in the platform, set the timer, start polishing and leave it until it's done. With a polishing wheel, one has to actively work on the part from start to finish.

Polysmooth is PVB which uses alcohol for solvent. ABS uses acetone as solvent. As long as the correct solvent is used to melt the material, it should work. Just ensure the solvent will not melt the exposed material in the chamber. For this reason I used regular PLA for the printed parts but I'm using Polysmooth and alcohol for my polished parts.

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I just saw this and have to say, awesome job! I do have an arduino uno,lcd shield,driver and stepper motor lying around so I just mighr build this.maybe out of glass and abs/nylon so I could use chloroform,since I have alot of pla. Do you need a hardcore for pvb or just the good old AA printcore?

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According to Wikipedia (but this is not guaranteed to be correct), acetone can be mixed with water, similar to alcohols. However, I don't see why you would add water in the mix, since that doesn't dissolve ABS? So, at best it wouldn't do anything, as far as I can see? Or did you have a specific reason, for example another additive added to the water?

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Acetone and colorfabb PLA is way better in my opinion and less destructive (but you do need the 0.06 layer height). I just can't stand that awful wobbly glossy look, surely it defeats the point of doing it. if you want a shine, you can always spray a gloss on. But who wants an imperfect gloss, after all you want perfect reflections, not the reflections of a bruised apple.

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Acetone and colorfabb PLA is way better in my opinion and less destructive (but you do need the 0.06 layer height). I just can't stand that awful wobbly glossy look, surely it defeats the point of doing it. if you want a shine, you can always spray a gloss on. But who wants an imperfect gloss, after all you want perfect reflections, not the reflections of a bruised apple.

I would say it is dependent upon the subject matter. Sometimes the striations, coupled with the proper filament can give a nifty, 'sparkly' look.

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