"Cold" Acetone vaporizing

Discussing what we do with our prints after we make them (clean up, integration, etc)

"Cold" Acetone vaporizing

Postby daewootech » 2013-Jul-Tue-03-Jul

Don't know if anyone tried this before, I don't know if I would call it Cold but basically last night I had cleaned out an old sauerkraut glass and I bent up some wire to make a platform and handle and basically the whole setup you would see for a heated acetone vapor smoothing process, except it was like 2am and I figured I would experiment tomorrow, but instead what I did what take a failed print and stuck it in there, threw a couple drops of acetone into the bottom of the jar and sealed it shut and placed it near a north facing window (one that doesn't really get sun, just some light), and I left it basically up until about 10pm today where I pulled the part out and the whole part was shiny and translucent, and super soft, I might have left it in there too long, but I figured the acetone vaporizes on its own and there's fumes so if I just trapped them inside the sealed glass it should do something, I think it worked a bit too well though and the part is almost soggy feeling. I left it to see if it will "dry out" assuming it somehow absorbed the fumes of the acetone I left in the jar?

It was a bit overcast today and temps were about in the mid 80's outside, but the air on is on in the house on a steady 76 I think. So I doubt it could have gotten anything above warm. Maybe there was some sort of capillary action where the acetone crawled up the copper wire into the part directly?

image.jpg
The bottom

image.jpg
After About 20 hours of room temp acetone fumes
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"Cold" Acetone vaporizing

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Re: "Cold" Acetone vaporizing

Postby luvthisprintrdrew » 2016-Jul-Sat-00-Jul

I didn't soak my printout in acetone but I found that dabbing acetone on an
old sock and polishing the printed object works quite well.

I'm printing with PLA. I don't have the money to print with ABS so I
have no idea whether it works or not in ABS. The last print in ABS
I saw was on a $2,300 printer and didn't look like it needed polishing.
Way out of my budget.

The last 2 spools of PLA I bought show some discolouration after
polishing with acetone, however the smoothing effect is much the same.

If you don't care what your print looks like after polishing, this works well.
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Re: "Cold" Acetone vaporizing

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Jul-Sat-17-Jul

All it takes to print with ABS is a heated bed, plus the usual fiddling to get it right. The first printrbots shipped only printed with ABS since they lacked a print cooling fan but had a heated bed. A heated bed will help PLA stick (I print PLA with the bed at 60C) and then detach easier when it cools. so it's beneficial even when you're not printing ABS. Sure doesn't take a $2300 printer.

Thinner layers and tuning your print temperatures and speeds will give better quality prints, which is probably what you were seeing with that more expensive printer, and likely not a result of printing in ABS. Of course, tuning your printer for better quality (or speed, if that's your goal) can become an endless task looking for that final tweak :)

ABS does contract more as it cools, takes more fiddling to get the setting right on larger parts. The big buck printers (that's ones with 5 digit prices) use a heated chamber to get around this, but you can do well without one.

Try a fine abrasive and water instead of acetone, like (say) Barkeeper's Friend (a type of cleanser, like Comet or Ajax, but different) and see what that does. PLA (supposedly) doesn't dissolve in acetone so likely it's just acting as a lubricant for your polishing. Just for grins I'll try to remember to use the sock/acetone trick on PLA and see what happens, the next time I'm near both.

What kind of printer do you have (if not a Printrbot), and what model? Does it have a heated bed already?

Kirk
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Re: "Cold" Acetone vaporizing

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Jul-Sun-11-Jul

Here's a timely article on how to turn an ultrasonic humidifier into an acetone vaporizer for ABS print smoothing.

I'd keep it a long way from any flame, including pilot lights, and smoking nearby would win you a Darwin Award (that site has not had any recent updates, alas).

KIrk
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Re: "Cold" Acetone vaporizing

Postby luvthisprintrdrew » 2016-Jul-Mon-01-Jul

Kirk,

I smoke like a chimney. An acetone chamber is out of the question for me.
Don't want to win any awards, unless it's the Nobel Prize.

I think what is happening is the acetone seems to be softening the PLA. With a
little pressure and patience the layers tend to smooth out.

I don't have a heated bed, just a printrbot metal simple.
I've worked around the magic blue tape problem, which is why I have the
acetone and old socks lying around. In a bind, double sided tape can be used
over the blue painters tape, but it can get expensive. It likes to peel off with the
printed object.

In the end, nothing works better than proper calibration.
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Re: "Cold" Acetone vaporizing

Postby Chyn » 2016-Jul-Tue-09-Jul

Have read the recommended articles, very interesting indeed. I know this could be out of topic, but what other 3dp blogs/resource you use to read?
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