Tuesday, 4 June 2013

ABS and Acetone - Look no support marks!

I recently tried printing the sticks bowl, one of Dizingof's great math-art creations. The first time I printed it in PLA with Slic3r's default support settings - this worked well as a print job but the support material was a rather long task to remove neatly




The last picture shows a close up of the bottom of the bowl which is still rough even after all support is removed.

This got me thinking about the acetone vapour treatment that Austin Wilson and Neil Underwood wrote about on the reprap blog. The next version of the bowl I printed in ABS at 125% scale, removed the support material and used the acetone vapour technique to smooth it, the result:




This time the whole model is silky smooth.

Inspired by the success of the surface finish I decided to revisit a print of Binary Roots by virtox. This design is possibly my favourite piece of art on thingiverse, I like the combination of geeky, useful and aesthetic. I had previously printed it in PLA:


 but this suffered from the same support material roughness as the stick bowl.

I had to test a number of abs colours a few weekends ago and combined the testing with a 0.75 scale print of Binary Roots, here it is prior to the vapour treatment with the support marks obvious on the bottom.



And following the acetone vapour bath, smooth and watertight ready to be a miniature plant pot:




Further info on the acetone vapour bath process is well covered in a number of blog posts by Austin Wilson. I wonder if my next Mendel90 will be made with smoothed parts....

10 comments:

  1. Great results !

    I've been thinking about how this smoothing technique could also be used for casting a design in Metal to get a smooth Metal model: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:26500

    Dizingof

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    1. Cheers!

      The acetone finish should definitely help the surafce finish on the casting - it will be interesting to see how it works smoothing the inside of the mold though. May a quick pour in, pour out of acetone would work better?

      Tony

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  2. Wow, those smoothed models look fantastic! I'm not familiar with the method you are describing though, I'll be sure to check it out now!

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  3. Wow, that looks absolutley amazing! Nicely done! :-D
    I would never have thought colors would stay so sharp with acetone treatment!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Brilliant Tony - your photos (along with some encouragement from my mate Malcolm) led to me printing out four of these things, one of which went out as part of a birthday present complete with an air plant - the other three are at home and look very pretty. However ..... the purpose of this comment is to share something which I discovered by accident. One of my prints warped off the bed slightly and when I tried to straighten it out, I ended up almost breaking one of the legs. No worries I thought - the acetone vapour bath should sort that out which it almost did. However, the break was still apparent to my eyes so I tried a second mending technique - heat it up with my hot air gun which is where things got interesting. Rather than simply softening the ABS, the vapour treated plastic began to bubble to give quite a good effect. Take a look at a photograph which I took of it this morning - not the best picture but I think that it gives some idea of the effect which I obtained. http://thefullpicture.co.uk/BlogPics/Acetone_Heat.jpg

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  6. Hi Alan

    Nice discovery - rice crispy finish!

    It looks like the acetone is quite deep within the part and takes a long time to come out completely, the hot air gun caused it to boil I guess. I suppose if you needed to heat treat a part after acetone bath (without getting this effect!) then you would need to put it into a warm oven for long enough for all the acetone to evaporate out of the part before heating it further.

    An aside - I find that a good way to repair parts prior to the acetone bath is to use thick acetone/abs solution applied with either a cotton bud or with a piece of filament

    Cheers

    Tony

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  7. Tony,

    To your question, yes you can keep the photos of my designs - Attribution means just attach the designer name & link back to his website on each photo you publish.


    Cheers

    Dizingof
    3Dizingof.com

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    1. Hi Dizingof

      Thank you!

      For those of you wondering about the root of this comment, read here:
      http://www.thingiverse.com/Dizingof/overview
      and here:
      http://publicknowledge.org/node/7623

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  8. Nice Post what you said is really helpful to me. I can't agree with you anymore. I have been talking with my friend about, he though it is really interesting as well. Keep up with your good work, I would come back to you.

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