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cloakfiend

Acetone Finishing on PLA

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TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO SAY ACETONE DOES NOTHING TO ALL BRANDS OF PLA.....YOU ARE WRONG. LIKE TOTALLY WRONG.

THIS NOW APPLIES TO COLORFABB NON SPECIALITY FILAMENT ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (as i have not tried speciality filaments.) If anyone from colorfabb wants to send me some samples id be happy to try them out, ;)lol.

(EDIT: UM BRAND PLA NO LONGER SMOOTHS due to changes in their manufacturing process) Just to let you know. The red one below is Colorfabb BTW and so is the black t-rex beneath that. And that still should work, im getting more new filament soon so ill kee you updated if it also changes. But seeing as they still add pha to it i think it should be fine. UM no longer does and i think that is the reason.

I do need to say this also probably wont work with cheap brands of PLA from what i've heard, due to the lack of dissolvable plastics in the PLA like HIPS/ABS/PHA which seems to be present in the PLA I use which is Colorfabb and Ultimaker Brand (my favourite). Just thought I'd add that note in case it doesn't work for you as we all know that (from a chemical point of view) PLA is not affected by acetone, but to improve the composition and printability of PLA many manufacturers add stuff to it which makes it smoothable (which is great) ! ( just need to say this as some smart arses alway tell me that PLA is traditionally not dissolvable in acetone as we all know by now. ) well i'm just telling you that I found two brands that do smooth, and i'm not bothered about the percentage of PLA in those filaments or the fact that its not 'PURE' PLA which some people seem to find so damn important, but I find the smooth-ability of it far more impotant so save all those other arguments for someone who cares. If its smoother prints you want, then read on......If you only want to use 'PURE' PLA for whatever weird reason you choose other than cost (which is a big factor I admit) then this thread is NOT for you. As from what I've read PLA blends tend to be slightly more expensive that Pure PLA, but they tend to be strionger, print better, and.......smooooth unlike pure PLA. But it IS still PLA so all you blend haters can just carry on hating what i'm lovin'.

 

 

 

 

 

Old thread below, go to end for more recent stuff.

****PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY NOW AND DO NOT POUR 2 LITRES OF ACETONE INTO A VAT. THE ONLY REASON I DID IT HERE WAS THAT I HAD NO OTHER CONTAINERS THAT THE HEAD WOULD FIT INSIDE AND IT WAS THE FIRST ATTEMPT I DID ON A HIGH DETAIL MODEL AND I WAS EXPERIMENTING SO YOU DONT HAVE TO! FOR SMALL MODELS YOU CAN JUST POP SOME ACETONE INTO A MUG OR GLASS, TAKE IT OUTSIDE AND DIP IT THERE, SO YOU OR YOUR HANDS NEVER REALLY COME INTO CONTACT WITH ACETONE, MAKING IT VERY SAFE.****

OK, Guys first post here, and after finding that my abs parts were breaking a lot i switched to black PLA from Colourfab the regular one 2,85 mm. After reading all the abs acetone business i still found the vapour cloud too random and thick at the bottom and thin at the top so gave up after many failed attempts.

PLA However i noticed that if you print at 0.06 (or higher i guess, i didnt go bove 0.06) then the acetone just eats away enough for it to smooth any casual sanding and even most of the printing lines. Here is a quick vid i made sorry for and bad language, its just the way i speak.

 

Good luck, no need for any other nasty chemicals! unless you're in a hurry, lol.

the big head took 33Hrs to print btw.

Edited by TheDeugd
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Sweet jeebus that's a lot of Acetone! I think my apartment reeks when I've used a few drops on a paper towel to clean PCBs. You're bathing in the stuff.

Very interesting to see but I wont be doing it myself any time soon.

 

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Yep, im with you on the safety now, its just im used to doing things quick and easy and usually not wasting time with safety nonsense, but that amount of acetone is a bit crazy. I only used that because i was in a hurry and couldnt find a smaller container to fit the head.

Im doing another tutorial now with the fibonacci object prior to any sanding printed in 27hrs at a quicker 70mms at 230deg just to show how great the resultss are even after one long dip. I used gloves in this one, but next time im doing it outside lol! Cant breath that crap in any more its ok when its a tiny tub, but 2.5 litres gets stinky.

Pla and acetone is the way guys, if you can just find a container small enough to fit the object to reduce the amount of acetone you use.

Next year its gonna be dlp but until then you cant beat pla and acetone results in my opinion. Period. Unless you love filler spray and tons of sanding. However it must be noted that flat thin objects will warp so beware, youll see this in the next vid. Stay safe, peace.

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All filament react differently to acetone, i just found from experience. Trying the different pla ones i had that black colorfab pla filament works best for me, the green one didnt do anything and the white one looked like crap to begin with just lumpy to begin with so i didnt even try. I got the idea by dunking the test piece that can with the printer and noticed that after an acetone bath i could barely see any lines and all the details were kept unlike the acetone abs vapour nonsense that destroys all fine detail. My method brings it out. You just need enough acetone to dunk it in. If you wear a mask gloves and do it outside i cant see any safety issues unless youre doing it on a scyscraper balcony and are very clumsy, lol.

Give it a go with a small object if you dont belive me. Just make sure youve tuned the printer to the best of your abilities, and print at 0.06 or higher. Sand or use a scalpel to cut off the dots where the print head left the model, and do a primary dip. After this initial dip you can see the problem areas which usually do not need much touching up and then a quick little dip to make youre sanded fixed areas good again and you have a perfect piece with little post effort. You can always spray it with plastic primer to see the areas either if you dont want to double dip. I reccomend a lond dip followed by a touch of sanding then a quick dip tomake that smoothand youre good. No more lines, much, lol.

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I love that skull model. I have used acetone and PLA but instead of dipping ( oh wow wear gloves or use sticks lol ) I carefully brushed the areas that I wanted smooth, works well yeah.

I recently printed that makerbot skull in bronzefill....hmmm wonder what acetone does to that :)

 

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Im doing another tutorial now with the fibonacci object prior to any sanding printed in 27hrs at a quicker 70mms at 230deg just to show how great the resultss are even after one long dip. I used gloves in this one, but next time im doing it outside lol! Cant breath that crap in any more its ok when its a tiny tub, but 2.5 litres gets stinky.

 

Where did you get the fibonacci object model from or did you make it?

 

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Its from the dudes drop box. No i didnt make it but ill show you all in my next tut. Overdid the acetone on it though. It leaked into the internal structure and made it very rubbery. Still looks a million time better than abs vapour nonsens. M

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Whoa mate! You should at least go get some safety gloves, goggles and suitable breathing protection!

Also, you might as well use a big jar with one to two hundred ml of Acetone, close it and shake to get the surface treated.

Acetone is a contact poison, being resorbed by the skin easily and apart from dissolving and washing away the protective lipid layer (leaving you with very dry skin), it is toxic to the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract - even in smaller doses. It can even do harm to the blood cells and bone marrow if being contaminated repeatedly, or for a longer period of time. Always use goggles when handling acetone; it can cause permanent eye damage (corneal clouding).

Don't want to be the wet blanket here, but I could not just sit and watch ;)

 

http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927062

I'm sorry, but the msdn safety charts say otherwise. It has a health rating of 1, which pretty much means its harmless (it can irritate your skin, but that is about it). Further more, it states that it may be toxic. They don't know if it is. Seeing that this stuf is sold as nail polish remover, i doubt that it's that dangerous.

It is smart using this stuff in well ventilated area and safety glasses are should always be used when working with any kind of chemicals.

 

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I only submerged the tips of my fingers, but i only did this as a friend of mine (a girl) had a massive tub of acetone in a pink bottle labeled nail polish remover that absolutely stunk when she opened it, and it had a sponge in the middle that you were meant to dip your finger nails in, this obviously meant your fingertips would touch the acetone, and assuming you dont do this everyday im pretty sure once everynow and then is ok..

But then again, im the kind of guy who loves to play with mercury in my hand, so small exposures to stuff doesnt bother me. Just dont do it forever, as the effects are additive over time. lol.

 

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Flame thrower, lol, I am a full blown pyromaniac too, so dont temp me, ill probably try and burn a few just to see, but i doubt it will go in all the detailed areas, perhaps a tiny hand flame thrower( which i have of course!) might do the trick, id like to see a vid of the flame thrower method. If there isnt one, ill make one next week. Right now im ill. Probably too much acetone inhalation, lol. No just kidding, i got the flu!

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OK here is my third tut, sorry its a bit long, but i tried to include as much as i could including some pics and vids of the model printing to the finished result, but that comes at the end of the vid as i printed i a while ago, and just got the vids off my phone yesterday when i made the tut.

Its the nice and detailed flower bloom model by edmark.

All the detail is kept and looks great in my opinion, ive got no more filament left, so its gonna be a while till my next print, but ive got one more to smooth that printed quite badly even at 35mm, so that will be interesting. obviously its gonna need more sanding, but anyways, i hope it turns out ok!

 

 

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Ok so here is my last print i have no black filament left for the time being and am concentrating on doing casting molds for the blooms. But i just wanted to show you the destructive power of acetone on pla when you have thin layers and incomplete internal filling, i.e. Loads of nozzle jams and skipping. The model appears ok but i knew it would not smooth well from the beginning as the internal 20% fill was very poor compared to the blooms where it was solid. So if you see the print coming out bad, forget dipping it.

 

 

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Ok seeing as i ran out of black, i though id try the blue again and i did a rush test after tons of cleaning due to much carbonization as i havent used it for a while and im actually very pleased. I think i didnt test the blue properly before and it smooths pretty well even at 0.1! Maybe 0.2 i cant remeber which setting as i just upgraded the cura to 15.1.

Ill keep you posted gonna try and print some stuff again, but it seems the material is more feeder friendly too as even when it grinds it seems not as brittle as the black and doesnt jam as much, but im interested to see how good the detail comes out.

Doenst seem to be warping much either but i guess ill only really find out in a few hours after its cured.... Yep its warped now, lol but its smooooth, defo gonna do a full model tomorrow.

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Damn it! that frickin' feeder's gotta go, its such a piece of @!&% just grinding the filament away like a greedy ittle piggy. i thought it was ok, but after the filament cools, its grind mania again. the next thing i print will be a new feeder assembly. Thats the worst thing about this printer.

I guess thats the only advantage of printing in ABS for me as this jamming issue never seems to happen!

 

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Here is a face i made (or should i say my friends face) using autodesks 123, and a quick cleanup using 3dsmax and maya, then to cura, and printed at 0.1 done in PLA colorfabb blue. i wonder how this will look once i smooth it...... Just realised i printed this with a 1mm shell which was a bit silly of me knowing i should have stuck to my usual 0.8 or 1.2...silly me might be the reason for the skipping from all the nozzle jams!

20150219_111503.jpg

free image host

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