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My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:37 pm
by jeeplvr
This what I use for the glossy and smooth finish.
Everything I want a glossy finish on gets vigorously sanded with 180 grit sand paper. The objective is to reduce all the layer lines and imperfections. The rough surface left by the sand paper will smooth with the acetone vapor.
In the picture are different beakers I use for different size models. The clear glass allows me to see the vapor line as it climbs the side of the glass. I always get the vapor line higher than the model to get the top of the models exposed to acetone.
For heat I use an electric heater sheet capable of 250c. I set the heater sheet on an old perf board to keep the heat off the desk top. my heater sheet was self adhesive and is stuck to a piece of thin stainless steel. Aluminum foil would work also. It helps keep the heater flat.
For temperature control I have a temp 120v controller with a self adhesive thermocouple attached.
I preheat the glass to 110c then pour in about a table spoon or two of acetone. I let the vapor line climb up the side of the glass until it is higher than whatever part I am finishing and put the part in. The parts are hung from a small piece of wire and a piece of 1/4" dowel across the opening of the beaker.
While in the beaker, I watch the part until I see the finish I want and then pull it from the beaker and hang it on something until it is dry.
The acetone stays in the part for hours after being exposed to the acetone. I let my parts dry for about 24hrs before assembling them.[
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Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:23 pm
by stormychel
Nice :) I use two 5-liter beer barrels, one with the lid cut off for the bottom one, and one with both lid and bottom cut off for the upper one. This allows me to put in models around 70cm max, and diameter 20cm max. I put the barrel on the furnace, maximum heat until the acetone boils, then turn off the heat and wait for 30 seconds. No sanding here...

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:25 am
by pp3dp.nl
stormychel wrote:Nice :) I use two 5-liter beer barrels, one with the lid cut off for the bottom one, and one with both lid and bottom cut off for the upper one. This allows me to put in models around 70cm max, and diameter 20cm max. I put the barrel on the furnace, maximum heat until the acetone boils, then turn off the heat and wait for 30 seconds. No sanding here...
That sounds like a bomb and an accident waiting to happen :(

Please be careful, acetone vapor is dangerous and flammable..

I just use a thick glove for one hand and in the other I have a little droplet bottle, let the surface of your model get covered with acetone and in a few minutes I have the same result as vapour treatment. I do this outside or in a special painting booth with air blowing outside.

This is an example, just a few ml's of acetone, glossy finish and a little bit of spray paint:
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Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:51 am
by roller
I feel so low-tech. Mine is a recycled honey jar that I put on a terracotta tile that I preheat in the oven. That way I can do it all outside away from ignition sources in case my jar breaks from thermal shock.

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:15 pm
by DrewPetitclerc
My setup is based on the Presto Multi-Cooker/Steamer 06003, I add a small wire mesh stand where I've cut and bent alternate wires so all the parts are resting on sharp points.
In my setup the cooker (about $32.00) is setting on a lazy suzan turntable.
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1. I place the cold parts in the cooker, in basket, on wire mesh points.
2. Squirt about 2 table spoons of acetone into bottom of cooker.
3. turn heat up to warm, no need for high heat, acetone vapors at skin temp after all.
4. As soon as I see the acetone bubbling through clear lid, turn off heat and pull magnetic plug.
5. Observe how high the vapor line is if not enough to cover part, squirt a little more acetone in.
6. Spin cooker on lazy suzan to stir up vapor so all of part is covered.
7. Check part regularly, usually done in less than 3 minutes.
8. Lift basket out slowly so vapor pours back into cooker.
9. Place part in front of small fan to out-gas, put into freezer if reaction needs to be stopped right away.
10. Put basket and wire mesh back into cooker with another part, remaining acetone will work add more as needed.

My setup has a limit on part size, but I find it perfect for most everything I create.

Regards
Drew

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:48 pm
by glen
Yes
I have to go with drew,
my setup is a cheap electric frying pan. with a glass top.
Unfortunately I made the mistake earlier of putting acetone into a glass container without letting it cool sufficiently and it exploded big time. Fortunately I was wearing safety glasses which is unusual for me at home.

Not such worries with the aluminium pan and the built in heat source saves a lot of hassell.

Cheers
Glen

My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:57 am
by ming
add part in inner chamber
add 1 cup of warm water
stirring only needed if rapid mode is desired

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:17 am
by glen
Amazing the silly simple ideas.
Ming, a hole with a paper clip to control depth of the steel rod.
Intelligent simplicity at it's best!!!
Cheers

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:42 pm
by DrewPetitclerc
Ming,
Watch out for that ESD event test you have made, it makes a nice bomb.
You get a charge and pass it to the metal wire and it passes to the metal clip and it jumps to the metal lid.
That is at least 2 possible sparks trying to set off the HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE acetone fumes in the double walled compression bomb chamber of glass! :shock:

Regards
Drew

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:16 pm
by ming
thanks for heads up
better safe than oops (BTW - the lid is never screwed on )
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BTW i get a much more consistant finish if i let it vent a small amount and do it really slow (20 minutes timer with 100-130F water 20-30 ml of acetone = my sweet spot)

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:57 pm
by jeeplvr
My beakers are all borosilicate glass.
Borosilicate glass is a type of glass with the main glass-forming constituents silica and boron trioxide. Borosilicate glasses are known for having very low coefficients of thermal expansion making them resistant to thermal shock, more so than any other common glass. Such glass is less subject to thermal stress and is commonly used for the construction of reagent bottles. Borosilicate glass is sold under such trade names as Borcam, Borosil, Suprax, Kimax, Pyrex, Endural, Schott, or Refmex.

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:41 am
by JuliaDee
The magnetic stirrer is a great idea, Ming. As to acetone's flammability, this video is informative

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJWhfpWlGFg

Of course, having it combust it in a sealed chamber is quite possibly more dangerous, as Drew mentions.

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:02 pm
by ming
Thanks for the vid Jdee
The unknowns are always the ones that causes the alarm and more effective than the actuals

Re: My Acetone vapor setup

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:05 pm
by Orcdoc01
I use an old coffee plunger to do acetone smoothing. I have a piece of foil in the bottom where I place the 3D printed piece and soak a paper towel in acetone and put it on the plunger platform. I have a clip to keep the plunger in place and I leave it for between 3-7 hours depending on the size of the piece.
It works really well and I don't need to heat the acetone. I can't smooth large pieces, but I normally sand and fill them anyway. I used this technique to smooth some LED bar clips I made for a client. The pieces came out really smooth and very strong.