3D prints get the spa treatment to remove unsightly molding lines

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These days, you can 3D-print just about anything you could imagine, including guitars and even the backside of your smartphone . The only problem with 3D printed objects, though, is that they still look pretty rough, even if the individual layers are a tenth of a millimeter thick.

Austin Wilson and Neil Underwood wanted to give some of their pieces a smoother finish, so they started experimenting with heating up some acetone and ended up with the shiny squirrelly object you see on the left in the above photo.

The process is fairly simple; all it requires is a glass jar and a tablespoon of acetone. You’ll want to warm the acetone on a heated build plate (not to be confused with a hotplate) set at 120 degrees Celsius; alternately, you can blast it with a hair dryer until you see that the acetone cloud reaches the top of the jar.

After that, you can dip your fabrication—preferably with it sitting on an elevated platform—into the jar and leave it there for a couple of minutes.

The whole thing works because the acetone vapor reacts chemically with the ABS plastic and causes it to melt. If you’re afraid of any potential flammability issues (acetone can catch fire), the method would still work without heating up the acetone; you would just need to wait a very long time for the vapor cloud to form on its own. Still, be careful, and carry this out at your own risk.

[RepRap Blog via Hack a Day ]

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This story, "3D prints get the spa treatment to remove unsightly molding lines" was originally published by TechHive.

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