All posts by Marnix


We’d been reading about this technique called ‘vapor treating‘, that is supposed to smooth out the surface of prints. Bathing them in vapor of a solvent would blend the ridges so typical of 3d printing, so that the part would look almost injection-molded. This looked like something we’d like to try ourselves.

Different plastics require different solvents. The solvent for ABS plastic is acetone, which is both widely available and not too toxic. We have a lot of pieces lying around from semi-successful ABS printing experiments which are perfect candidates for some smoothing.

ABS Vapour smoothing setup

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Printing a fan mount

We were having very good results printing with the black PLA without any extra cooling, but the green PLA that we wanted to use was not so cooperative. PLA tends to stay soft for a little time after extrusion. While this is nice because it lets the printed layers fuse together well, it can also cause the finer details of your prints to warp and sag. One advice commonly found on the Internet says to add a small fan to blow cold air over your print, to make the PLA cool down faster. It seemed worth a try.

fan mount

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