Jump to content
UltiMaker Community of 3D Printing Experts

Some preliminary experiments with THF smoothing of PLA prints


madoverlord
 Share

Recommended Posts

Posted · Some preliminary experiments with THF smoothing of PLA prints

So after reading the http://www.protoparadigm.com/blog/2013/06/vapor-smoothing-and-polishing-pla-with-tetrahydrofuran-thf/ about smoothing PLA with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thf, I got some of the solvent and started playing.

It goes without saying that this stuff, like acetone, is nasty and should only be messed with outdoors, with a respirator, googles, and nitrile gloves on.

Anyway, I built a simple vapor smoother but I was not particularly happy with the results. Also it can form explosive peroxides if you let it dry out, and that's always a risk with vaporizing the stuff.

I tried the el-cheapo cold vapor method (solvent in the bottom of a jar, nuts and bolts to form a platform that keeps the part out of the solvent, no heat) but my initial results were not promising. By the time you get significant smoothing, the parts start to crack. There may be a sweet spot in timing but I flashed on a different idea.

This was inspired in part by a

that bathes the part in a flow of solvent, which struck me as very complicated. But I put it together with some previous experiments I'd done in mechanical smoothing, and came up with this system.

 

  • Fill a small jar about 1/3 full of THF.
  • Insert part and seal lid (I made a gasket out of a sacrificial nitrile glove).
  • Use a rock-tumbler to ensure an even coating.

 

Here's https://www.dropbox.com/s/q5vkfa2ehv0pcmj/CIMG3121.jpg and https://www.dropbox.com/s/duly97d4fwuvrxo/CIMG3127.jpg pics of my first attempt, which was 5 minutes of agitation of a broken scrap part. Let me know what you think and what suggestions for improvements you might have.

Update: here's what the https://www.dropbox.com/s/uwincyw1dy48ulm/CIMG3130.jpg after another 5 minutes in the chemical jacuzzi...

 

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
     Share

    • Our picks

      • Here it is. The new UltiMaker S7
        The UltiMaker S7 is built on the success of the UltiMaker S5 and its design decisions were heavily based on feedback from customers.
         
         
        So what’s new?
        The obvious change is the S7’s height. It now includes an integrated Air Manager. This filters the exhaust air of every print and also improves build temperature stability. To further enclose the build chamber the S7 only has one magnetically latched door.
         
        The build stack has also been completely redesigned. A PEI-coated flexible steel build plate makes a big difference to productivity. Not only do you not need tools to pop a printed part off. But we also don’t recommend using or adhesion structures for UltiMaker materials (except PC, because...it’s PC). Along with that, 4 pins and 25 magnets make it easy to replace the flex plate perfectly – even with one hand.
         
        The re-engineered print head has an inductive sensor which reduces noise when probing the build plate. This effectively makes it much harder to not achieve a perfect first layer, improving overall print success. We also reversed the front fan direction (fewer plastic hairs, less maintenance), made the print core door magnets stronger, and add a sensor that helps avoid flooding.
         

         
        The UltiMaker S7 also includes quality of life improvements:
        Reliable bed tilt compensation (no more thumbscrews) 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi A 1080p camera (mounted higher for a better view) Compatibility with 280+ Marketplace materials Compatibility with S5 project files (no reslicing needed) And a whole lot more  
        Curious to see the S7 in action?
        We’re hosting a free tech demo on February 7.
        It will be live and you can ask any questions to our CTO, Miguel Calvo.
        Register here for the Webinar
          • Like
        • 11 replies
      • UltiMaker Cura 5.3.0-Alpha 🎄 Tree Support Spotlight 🎄
        Are you a fan of tree support, but dislike the removal process and the amount of filament it uses? Then we would like to invite you to try this special release of UltiMaker Cura. Brought to you by our special community contributor @thomasrahm
         
        We generated a special version of Cura 5.2 called 5.3.0 Alpha + Xmas. The only changes we introduced compared to UltiMaker Cura 5.2.1 are those which are needed for the new supports. So keep in mind, this is not a sneak peek for Cura 5.3 (there are some really cool new features coming up) but a spotlight release highlighting this new version of tree supports.  
          • Like
        • 17 replies
      • New here? Get ahead with a free onboarding course
        Hi,
         
        Often getting started is the most difficult part of any process. A good start sets you up for success and saves you time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. That is why we have a onboarding course ready for
        Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle, Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker S3 Ultimaker 2+ Connect.   
        They're ready for you on the Ultimaker Academy platform. All you need to do to gain access is to register your product to gain free access. 
        Ready? Register your product here in just 60 seconds.
          • Like
        • 14 replies
    ×
    ×
    • Create New...