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Acetone Finishing on PLA

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

It only remains flexible for about 3-4 days. Then goes rock solid and ultra brittle.

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

OK i just realised the blue is not colorfabb but ultimaker blue, hence the matte finish but i did an amusing tut either way to show how a 0.1 layer print holds up after a 30sec dunk. Pretty good if you ask me......coming soon.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

This topic puzzles me. When I tried soaking UM Blue PLA in acetone the PLA wasn't touched at all. All that happened was that the blue pigment turned white. That was a year ago, before I learned that the YouTube vids only applied to ABS.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Just to state, I am using 100% acetone, not any form of nail varnish remover or other Acetone based or products containing large amounts of acetone, as soon as the purity drops, it is ineffective. I even poured some acetone into some nail varnish remover to see if it diluted it but it did nothing so i reverted back to using pure acetone. buy 5Ltrs online, that way you will have plenty to play with. then wave goodbye to ABS.

This ultimaker blue (that came with the printer), does not hold up like the colorfabb which you can essentially dunk constantly after each bit of light sanding that you apply, and goes MUCH whiter and kind of rougher if you leave the acetone on it for too long. i have not done any sanding on my models prior to dipping like i normally like to do here and there to save the amount of dunks i need to do. But I will print another head just to see, the integrity is fine, and after a coat of paint im sure will look good, but it seems to melt more hence looking OK will less fine prints. The material quality does not appear as high quality as the colour fabb, but if it smooths this good on a 0.1 print after only one dunk, then i'm thinking a higher rez print will be perfect, but will it hold up to printing at higher reziz?

Defo do a much thicker shell than standard i recommend 1.2 as it is much more destructive on this PLA than the colorfabb and definitely make sure there are no holes for the acetone to creep in as well.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

I'm also talking 100% acetone bought in a 2.5L bottle from eBay. I use it in my workshop, and I don't wear nail varnish! In truth I can't quite be certain of what my test was (it was a quick test done about 14 months ago), but what I think I did was dunk a small failed print in a glass of acetone to see the effect. The quickest visible effect was that the pigment was bleached, and after 30 minutes or so I removed it. It's possible that the PLA itself would start to go if I left it in there longer, but I'm not sure that would be a useful result.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

If you want something shiny and glossy i cant deny that acetone vapour method works, as it clearly works, but is imperfect and visibly melts your object. And depending on how perfect you want a print, i just found that pla (colorfabb that is!) if printed high enough smooths just enough to keep the details with a few mild lines, but thats ok because you can sand them out ealisy, and then run the process again to reach perfection. I mean people who expect prints to be perfect and need no cleanup what so ever straight off the buildplate are dreaming. They can be real good, but rarely are perfect.

If you dont want something highly detailed then by all means stick witht the abs and acetone.

Its just not good enough for me thats all. Ill do a few more tuts to explain with spheres and cubes as i think people are missing my point on what exactly it does. Maybe im not clear enough?

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Well just been messing around with autodesks 123 again, but now ive moved onto autodesks momento beta, but the results while higher rez seem to be not as clean. this is my last 123 job, from 51 photos of my mates budda, in red colorfabb pla. with my acetone dipp, but it really didnt appear to do a damn thing! even at .0.6 infill 30, i think it maybe the thicker 1.2 shell thats preventing the PLA from absorbing the acetone?! so im stuck with red for a while, gonna switch back to the ultimaker pla next, maybe my acetone is too polutes now, oh well...heres the pic (printed as is but the bottoms of the ears messed up so i cut them off).

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

With the safety discussion in mind, please also consider the flammability of this stuff. It tends to evaporate at a fairly quick rate and the fluid [or the vapour directly above as the fluid itself does not burn] itself is also not hard to ignite. After a bout of working with this, even just plugging in an appliance or a spark inside a motor could be bad news.

Burning to death is a horrible way to go, or even just to lose your house. Be sure to take precautions and to keep fire fighting equipment at hand that is capable of dealing with this type of fire. Be safe :)

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Im very safe, but to be honest after messing around with this stuff, (a lot of it) i found it pretty harmless, even when i practically bathed in it. I also did a ton of research on it, and its even harmless if you drink like 30ml of it, so im not too fussed anymore. It just stinks a bit. I keep it in a tupperware box in my garden and just go there to dip my models in. the whole dangers of igniting it with a spark are so improbable the way i do it, its safe as houses, i dont vapourise it at all so its fine. People just stress too much about safety with this stuff.

I've switched back to ultimaker blue for my next model as that material smoothed real nice from experience, ill have to dip that after a touch of sanding for a smooth finish as i want to chrome it up afterwards in gold.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

OK Ultimaker blue is my weapon of choice. at 0.06 it truly is the best quality i can hope to acheive with the ultimaker. In terms of reaction to acetone, i have found it to perform extremely well if not the best of all, however too much acetone will destroy it, unlike the colorfabb stuff which must contain less PHA or ABS in the PLA. Eitherway if you want smooth high quality print then get hold of some ultimaker blue, like in the video i posted above and print high res and dip it for like 25 seconds in pure acetone. i guarantee you will be impressed. My search is over, and im only going to use blue ultimaker PLA from now on, it also has a higher tolerance to heat so it doenst get jammed as much at lower temps and seems to perform well at overhangs and in general. I was told that the stuff they shipped with the printer was of lower quiality but im finding the opposite effect. Its the best!!

Here is a little piture breakdown of my cannes project printed at 220-225degrees, i start at 230C to prevent nozzle jams and dial it down as it prints until i hear the clicks ( I usually aim not to hear them so stop around the 220 mark for ultimaker blue (as at 0.06 overhangs dont fair so well in high temps as opposed to the 0.1 edges), then ramp it up 10Degrees and back down 5. If im happy with the result at a higher temp ill just leave it print. then a touch of sanding to be sure (but this is at your discretion, not always essentional!) and soak it in acetone.

Now i used a brush and many coatings of acetone as it reacted well to it and i didnt want to dip as the part had many very thin sections and i know it would just warp, so the brush on method eliminated this problem. The brush on method doesnt work for colorfabb PLA at all BTW the reaction time is just too long.

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Ultimaker blue is the one!

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

As a note im not sure i mentioned this before, but regularly use my white colorfabb PLA to nozzle clean my machine as its the easiest to see any dirt, and highly recommend it as using coloured filaments prevents you from seeing the tiny carbonized particles that you cant miss on white, i've had no nozzle jams since and my printer prints as good as day one now, even with all the drama i've had with it in the past and the occasional failed print resulting in plastic just being melted everywhere around the print nozzle because i didnt put enough glue on the plate. also i use prit stik power, and one coat of that usually lasts for about 15-20 prints without re-aplication as its so damn strong, i just wipe it with a damp towel or tissue and its goo to go again, and again...and after its enough to just print on top without putting water on it, so i have found it to be very good.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Very funny thread!!!

Using colorfabb for atomic pulls is like putting a gold ring in the nose of a pig!

I am sure it works, and doing cold pulls w/white is smart!

Thank you

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Ok spot which ones have been acetone dipped and which havent and which ones are printed in 0.1 and which 0.06.... gonna paint them with metallic paints next.

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Will post one more UM blue 0.06 layer print acetone de-interlacing/smoothing test soon.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Ok here is my 50mm Z axis head test. much like the smaller 30mm one in using the same settings, 210C temp 35mm speed 0.06 Z and UM Blue PLA, 1.2mm shell no infill. And the same 25s in acetone dip.(i.e. fully submerged)

Here are the visuals of what goes on after you dip it so you see how lovely it smooths it. pay close attention to the shadows and curved areas as well as the smoothness of the flat areas, and remeber im deliberately not doing any sanding to show you how little is needed after the dip, if any.

This entire process took around 15-20mins BTW. I think it slows down after and may settle a touch more, but nothing you will visibly notice. UM Blue at 0.06 + Acetone is awesome...

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and some angled shots

 

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and the bottom looks like this...

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Just the bottom, lol!

Think of the acetone as improving your PLA models quality in general rather than destroying it. Softening the details a bit, but making the layers smooth together in a much more controlled way that the acetone vapour bath does to ABS. With PLA and acetone you dont get a melted mess as a result... if you want a melted look, stick to abs and acetone vapour. i'll post what the sprayed model looks like soon, its just drying. Its not perfect but its the best you'll get with minimal effort in my experience. no messing around with vapour and heating and it smooths everything evenly, even the top and bottom (if you suspend it that is!). Even after layers of paint you will have way more detail in the PLA print compared to the ABS vapoured one.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

looks like acetone can do some serious damage to PLA

 

ISTM it's just the pigment that has been bleached out or oxidised. You could probably wash most of that off.

The last set of pics is looking more like what I got a year ago... I described this bleaching earlier in the thread. I have to admit I'm hard pressed to see any improvement in "quality" in these latest pictures. The surface roughness has not really changed IMHO, e.g. the layer lines seem just as prominent. What am I supposed to be seeing?

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

you can scratch some of it off, but no way just wipe it off. its not so simple, as the curing process runs for a few days still. you can tell its finished when the model is hard. the white even came through the paint so i doubt you can wipe if of easily. and OK you are supposed to see that those lines are now practically gone, and the surface is smooth without ANY sanding (apart from the very tip where the printer finished). Some fine details are softer (but not lost) but maybe if i got an air can and sprayed out the buildup of the acetone which settles to create that white residue in the grooves, then it might keep a bit more fine details, but to tell you the truth i think its good enough even for someone as picky as i am. I doubt any FDM printer could do much better for the price, but would love to be proved wrong. Even the vein on the side of the temple is cleary visible!

first head is 50mm on Z and second is 30mm both printed with same setting as before 0.06 UMblue. i think i may have overdone the spraying but seeing as this is just a test i dont mind. i already printed another one for a half dip half not spray test ill post later .

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and just for research i though id show you the back did not look perfect, but seeing as this would be something i would normally sand, i dont mind, as it would only take less than a minute to do. I've also deliberately lit it as harshly as i could to show you all the hidden details.

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Just realised the white bleaching even came through the paint so i think it might be a good idea to blow it off and not leave it on as excess when you are dipping.

P.S. big model took 6Hrs to print and the little was like 1.5 Hrs. I'd also give it a scrub before spraying to try and minimize the white residue coming through.

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

OK for the people who are still skeptical that acetone does nothing to PLA ive printed the same model from above again same settings same UM blue PLA (that is now discontinued) and dipped half of it in acetone and left the other just to see what it would look like and then sprayed it with primer, i cant believe i haven't done thjis before! now you can see exactly how much detail is lost to acetone (not that much! ) and decide how long you will dip for, these are 25 seconds in acetone tests i've been doing in case you wandered. A bunch of same photos with different lighting conditions to see everything.

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Now to be honest i heard the feeder clicking a bit at the start of the print which means it needs a clean, so the results may not have been as perfect as i wanted, but still, the difference is clear. I rest my case, lol.

 

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Well as luck would have it, Ultimaker have now discontinued their blue that i am so fond of, so after this batch ive got, and some green which also seems to be unavailable, thats it, back to colorfabb, which takes a longer to acetone bath but hopefully will yield just as good results but in my experience i had subtle layer separation with colorfabb and acetone, oh well more tests to carry out! lol.

 

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Posted (edited) · Acetone Finishing on PLA
Damn all my picture links are broken... will have to fix those!

Hi @cloakfiend :)

Your links aren't broken luckily, the only thing that's a bit weird is the title. You should be able to edit your post and edit the titles if you want! In regards to your images, you can use the image URL and insert them by using the 'Add external image' button.

Edited by Guest

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA

Hi @cloakfiend

I'll try to create a script tonight to convert most images. As HTML is not allowed in the new forum we'll have to translate those to BBcode since the old imported topics contain HTML.

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Posted · Acetone Finishing on PLA
Hi @cloakfiend

I'll try to create a script tonight to convert most images. As HTML is not allowed in the new forum we'll have to translate those to BBcode since the old imported topics contain HTML.

Thanks a lot! I always wondered ho9w to post images without html here. Can videos be embedded also? not too bothered about that though.

Will post new prints soon.....

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