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3 Easy Tips That Will Give You Glossy 3D Models

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the building up layer on layer of materials to create a printed product. One of the problems of this is the layering effect or lines in the finished item. Some filaments can be smoothed to reduce the layering. If you want to have a glassy smooth 3D print, here are the three ways to achieve it.



Acetone Vapor

High-quality ABS filaments work best with this method. Lower quality ones tend to be mixed in with plastics, resulting in dissolving unevenly. Below are the steps to smoothing ABS filaments through acetone vapor.

What you will need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Sealable clear container (with 30 mm clearance in all directions surrounding the 3D object)
  • Paper towel
  • Acetone
  • Flat glass or metal plate (should be 10 mm above the surface and larger than the 3D object to prevent the acetone from getting to it)
  • Timer

Steps:

  1. Clean your container from possible contaminants.
  2. Place the sheets on the sides of the container.
  3. Wear your gloves and mask. In a well-ventilated room, moisten the paper towels with the acetone. Make sure that they are kept in place as your 3D object will be ruined if the paper towels fall on it.
  4. Put your 3D object on top of the flat plate and place it in the center of the container. Make sure that it is 10 mm above the bottom and has a 30 mm space between the walls.
  5. Set your timer to several hours. Make sure to check it every now and then to see if your object has been smoothened according to your preferences.
  6. Remove the object and let it stand for several minutes to allow the acetone to dissipate from the print.
  7. Voila! You now have a glassy smooth 3D object.

Polysmooth and Polysher

These two are a combination of a 3D printing filament that requires no post-processing and a smoothing machine that gives off an injected-molded look to your 3D object. Let’s talk about the Polysmooth first.

Polysmooth

The Polysmooth is a 3D printing filament that gives a smooth and glossy finish with zero layer lines to its output. It has similar printing settings with PLA. Made from PVB, it is known for having a reduced warping risk, easy support removal, and minimal odour. It complements Polysher to improve the surface quality of its outputs further.









Polysher

The Polysher is a post-processing smoothing machine that only works with the Polysmooth PVB filament and other alcohol-soluble filaments. It smooths the 3D object into a glossy finish with the use of an aerosol of isopropyl alcohol/ethanol. It melts the surface to smoothen it out.











Smoothing 3D prints can be as easy as 123. If you want to try these post-processing methods, order high-quality 3D printing filaments from our in-house brand, X3D Pro, and enjoy our free shipping and buy 3 take 1 for this week. Got any questions regarding these methods or anything 3D printing related? Contact us at 08 6380 7488 or x3d@x3d.com.au.