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Vapor Polishing ColorFabb XT

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I've been playing around with testing a few sample spools of colorFabb Xt that I received. I am really liking it. Last week, I tried a few things and figured out something really cool.

It can be vapor polished in acetone, but the reaction is a little different than ABS. A few cool things happen. One is that single wall prints with a very brief exposure clarify nicely. The other is that the surface lines are smoothed. Third is that flexibility increases dramatically. Some of the improved flexibility is lost within a few days, but you can see me crumbling a vase print into a ball and then unfolding it! Cool party trick if nothing else.

It can be also be solvent welded with acetone or MEK based solvents. I'm guessing you'd probably also get some nice smoothing by simply painting on MEK or dipping, but I'm set up for vapor so I tried that first.

Here's a blog post on my findings:

http://www.printedsolid.com/vapor-polishing-colorfabb-xt/

My theory of the moment is that the clear vs white appearance after polishing has to do with the amount of moisture in the air after drying.

I do a lot of investment casting with printed parts. I've tried vapor polished ABS with great results, but that's not really something you want to be burning off on a regular basis. So, I usually go to PLA printed at high resolution or hand finished. For me, this is a really great finding and I plan on using quite frequently for future investment casting and mold making.

 

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