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Post processing your 3D prints

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Awesome link, we would need more of this type of information. Does any one know of some videos of the process, for example sanding. How would you go about sanding an intricate object, that has small edges or those hard to reach spots. Would you use some sort of a tool or do it by hand?

 

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I see people using acetone to finish ABS. The outer layer disolves in the acetone leaving a shiny object behind (if you pull the object out in time).

Is there a solvant that does the same trick on PLA? I'm just too lazy to go sanding the thing.

Edited by Guest

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If you use PLA/PHA blends, then you CAN also use acetone to smooth it. Dont listen to all the people who say otherwise, they clearly have not experimented at all otherwise they would be agreeing and recommending acetone to finish with as you cant beat the results in my opinion. people only appear to still associate acetone with ABS but for me that is lame and you lose way too much detail, with PLA you lose much less, but im constantly trying to persuade people otherwise. UM Blue PLA smooths fantastically (the best in my opinion, which is kinda convenient for the UM brand as im using an ultimake as well, and you can even apply the acetone with a brush to do it, but colorfabb is a little trickier, and tends to crack if overdone and needs a bit more of a sand before/after. Im doing a tutorial but want to get it right so all the health and safety concerns are addressed for those with children and the paranoid who generally dont work with chemicals. BTW acetone is the safest solvent you can get and does very little harm to your body unless you pour it all over yourself repeatedly, or drink it, or do dumb stuff, and unless you contain it in a closed space and set fire to it, its really not that dangerous. You need to have a bit of common sense when using it, like anything in life. Its paint thinner, so just keep it in an air tight jar outside or in a garage away from anything flammable and bring it out for your dips.

The pictures should speak for themselves, that way you know what to expect. The model was also printed with UM blue PLA/PHA or whatever UM use to make its blend of PLA. And no sanding at all for the lazy!

https://ultimaker.com/en/community/view/10412-acetone-finishing-on-pla?page=5

EDIT: UM FILAMENTS DONT SMOOTH ANYMORE BTW, THEY CHANGED THEIR MANUFACTURING PROCESS.

Edited by Guest
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Yeah i know i already spoke about this on another thread, but its really not necessary, and way more expensive than dipping, for the price of 1 or 2 cans i get a 5 litres container and that has so far lasted me 6 months and im not even half way through it., plus you end up spraying the stuff all round it as well. So for the safety nuts out there this is even worse than what im doing, lol!

The spray in my opinion would be only really useful on large un dippable objects. And useless on colorfabb PLA it will only work on UM brands in my opinion, but hey i'll admit that i have not tried many filament brands. Only UM and Colorfabb which ive had great luck with. UM Blue is my winner, and WILL work with spray but seeing as you need to keep re-applying the acetone you will find it to be quite wasteful.

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Yeah i know, but we arent talking very much washing away and you dont want what washes away anyway, it leaves the model cleaner. Leakage happens more so with colorfabb to tell the truth, with UM filament it doesnt matter what you do really it stays on the model and the magic only really happens afterwardsduring the whitening phase in my experience(not sure what filament you're using), ive tried all the methods. For the seriously anal, you can apply it area by area with a tiny brush as well until you are happy with the final result (again only with UM blue in my experience). I doubt the difference between spraycan and container is worth the price difference, but in the name of research will do a test to find out for myself.....

However, when you spray on the acetone, i imagine its not on the surface long enough to achieve a smooth finish in one pass?  Hence wasting many cans of acetone if you print out a lot of stuff like i do. If you dont print much then i dont see a problem with the spray.

Don't worry a comparison will come...

P.S. what filament brand are you using?

Edited by Guest

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Wait, I'm confused.  Have you tried it? I print all the time, on average 6-8 hours a day my UM2 is running.  Detail retention is darn important for the stuff I'm working on, dunking plastic in a solvent that immediately melts it results in detail loss.  Yeah, its going to be shiny.  If you took a cast made of ice and dunked it in hot water, it would be darn shiny. You'd also lose a ton of detail.  Spray on acetone till it looks wet, let dry.  done.  2.5 months in on my 1st can, daily use, still at least half a can left.

most recently "shaxon" abs, works great, locally available in a bunch of colors. Dark colors seem to me more prone to white film as a result of the spray, all smooth out very nicely tho.

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Shaxon ABS? what is that? Wait, now im confused, lol. I only apply acetone to PLA, NOT ABS. That way i get minimal detail loss due to the PLA/PHA combination. ALL detail even edges still look great, I wouldnt dream of dipping ABS, it would just ruin it. I did this one last night and sprayed it this morning. 25 sec in acetone certainly has not ruined it in my opinion, model was not that detailed anyways. Obviously still wet lol. And unlike ABS PLA does NOT go shiny with acetone, but smooth instead.

20150616_093528.thumb.jpg.9c327c5286a156dc3ed17786fca1b2d1.jpg

20150616_093528.thumb.jpg.9c327c5286a156dc3ed17786fca1b2d1.jpg

Edited by Guest

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Lol, no its spray paint, i did the dip the previous night. I'd try ABS with acetone spray, but i found it a pain to keep stuck to the build plate, especially delicate tiny prints that i can easily remove with PLA. Also the glue is annoying to apply and the temperature of the nozzle means it destroys the coupler quicker. Id like to see a comparison of acetoned ABS vs acetoned PLA? Can you post your best ABS acetone print and I'll try my best in PLA. I have no ABS at all so cant try it out otherwise i would. I remeber having very clean prints with ABS, but could not clean the lines away and they seemed far too delicate to hold any weight, i had lots of things snap on me, its why i switched to PLA, lower temps, easy acetone application, but you have to print in high rez otherwise the acetone wont do enough to melt the lines away.

Edited by Guest

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ahh, gotcha.  yeah the glue stick is a pain, I'm using an acetone ABS slurry to adhere to the bed, works great.  I'm making silicon molds of the stuff I'm printing, then casting in resin.  Some of the parts require extremely low tolerances as they have mechanical interaction with other stuff, I need to retain all the material I can to preserve the function.. I'd post some pics but the current projects are all in the "secret" phase, not really allowed to post anything publicly yet :) Get your hands on a roll of ABS and spray it down, you'll be glad you did!!

edit: weird, I've found PLA to be more fragile in my experience. Would like to see a stress test performed on both side by side.

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I have been testing out Sculpt Nouveau patina's on a large Bronzefill piece i'm working on and came across this video on how to turn any material you print into a metallic part that can then take a patina. Also the tip about using Abranet is interesting, I'm going to give that a try.

http://www.kevincaron.com/video_detail.php?id=331

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I've tried sculpt nouveaus Paints out and am not that impressed to tell you the truth got much better result mixing metal powder in varnishes. The patinas they sell are great though. Tiffany green is my fav. Once the SN paint dries it almost doesnt react to patinas al all, i guess you are meant to apply it when the paint is still wet, but i like to decide where to put it after and thats not possible with SN paints. If you make your own metal paints, then the metal is much more polishable and the patinas look far more realistic in my opinion. The rust patina is also a bit much in my opinion, and the tiffany green patina makes iron rust brown orange anyways as its copper that goes green with acid, not iron. Also because the paints are resin based they also help mask the lines in your prints! even though that means a tiny loss in detail.

for reference,

My copper mix paint and sculpt NV tif green patina.

IMG_0685.thumb.JPG.8adb9225e16700ae7184f3f56bcab805.JPG

and several months later as i havent sealed it...

5599557351492.thumb.JPG.a4e5411ec82a6b0e955d8b2d1ad37ab9.JPG

Sculpt NV copper paint and black wash

559956130d5f0.thumb.JPG.dd1761389fe9748858df273baea6cb9b.JPG

MY copper paint and Black wash

559956d160b97.thumb.JPG.925d5854ce7c60d6244fbea91dbd7351.JPG

SN paints lack the lustre of metal that i desire, i'm sure they patina fine if you do it early, but even for novices they are very easy to apply on the plus side.

IMG_0685.thumb.JPG.8adb9225e16700ae7184f3f56bcab805.JPG

5599557351492.thumb.JPG.a4e5411ec82a6b0e955d8b2d1ad37ab9.JPG

559956130d5f0.thumb.JPG.dd1761389fe9748858df273baea6cb9b.JPG

559956d160b97.thumb.JPG.925d5854ce7c60d6244fbea91dbd7351.JPG

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