Airbrushing out the plastic defects at 260 degrees.

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cj7hawk
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:52 am

Airbrushing out the plastic defects at 260 degrees.

Post by cj7hawk » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:58 am

Hi All,

Something strange I just discovered, which is going to change my prints forever... you know that "white" looking shade the plastic goes where it's been stressed? Like when I've removed the supports or when I cut parts out - you get that piece of plastic ( or entire surfaces ! ) that goes a light colour.

Well, I used to clean it up with a paintbrush and acetone or MEK, but that sometimes left a residue that was more noticeable, so I kind of went with just leaving it, and the entire face-down surface where it touched the supports was a whitish grey ( I use black ABS almost exclusively ) - This was the same no matter which filament I used. Also, sometimes it made it shiny where it had been, which really messed up the piece as it stuck out.

Anyway, I just got a new soldering iron, and it has a surface mount rework section, which is basically a temperature adjustable hot-air blower and I was trying it on different materials at different temperatures to see what happened, and decided to see if I could weld to ABS pieces together, which should be fine right? Well, smoke and stuff, not good, so I thought "The PP3DP Mini works at 260 degrees" so i set the air temp for 260 degrees, and tried to weld the pieces with the smallest nozzle...

What happened was magic - I picked two pieces of support and as the hot air touched it, the white stress colour of the plastic vanished and was replaced instantly with the same shade/reflectivity etc of black as everywhere else printed - the lighter "stress" colour just vanished... Beautiful ! So I got some more pieces, and I could clean an entire face in just a few seconds... The plastic wasn't in contact long enough to heat up, nothing stuck together, but wherever the air brush moved, the plastic was instantly cleaned !

I can't believe how easy it was - these things are attached to soldering iron stations that sell for about $120 or so on ebay ( probably more or less depending on what you get with them ) -
eg

One of these ( hope the pic works ) -
Image

It's that thing on the side... I used the small nozzle, but others might work - The smaller one was enough - the "brush" effect was over about 1 square centimeter and cleaned it up instantly, so waving it over the entire side - maybe 20 square centimeters, took about 10 seconds.

Anyway, I was pretty happy with the results - If anyone else has one and uses coloured filaments, please let me know if it works as well on coloured ABS. It might work on other stuff too, but all Ihave is black ABS.

I don't know if other hot-air blowers work, but I didn't get as good results before I changed the heat setting, so be careful if trying it with a paint stripper or similar - It didn't take much - not enough to even heat it up or melt anything, but just a blow from this made an amazing difference -

Would love to hear from anyone else who has one and tries it what your results are like.

Note: It doesn't change the texture so IS NOT like an acetone vapour bath - It just cleans up the white appearance that occurs whenever ABS gets stressed.

Regards
David.

pp3dp.nl
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Holland/The Netherlands

Re: Airbrushing out the plastic defects at 260 degrees.

Post by pp3dp.nl » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:06 pm

Hello, yes it is true that heat returns the color. Also a light spray of clear varnish (matte or glossy) or wipe of acetone does the job.

The cheapest way is to use a turbo lighter or creme brulee burner. I have some for as low as €2 and you only have to wave the heat a bit around the bottom to make the white spots disappear.

teamcarlisle
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:00 am

Re: Airbrushing out the plastic defects at 260 degrees.

Post by teamcarlisle » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:51 pm

Not to rain on your parade, but this isnt a new concept. I said practically the same thing not that long ago if you were reading the forums (http://pp3dp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f= ... 69b#p42406)

The concept of heating plastic to get rid of white spots after bending or breaking has been around long before consumer 3d printing has been around

But those solder stations are awesome arent they! :) i love mine. Ive had it for about 2-3 years

cj7hawk
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:52 am

Re: Airbrushing out the plastic defects at 260 degrees.

Post by cj7hawk » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:52 am

LoL! Given how quickly I tried that, I'm not surprised someone beat me to it - :) What temp do you set yours to when doing that?

Regards
David

roller
Posts: 1622
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:09 pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Airbrushing out the plastic defects at 260 degrees.

Post by roller » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:58 pm

Been using a mini lighter based blowtorch to do the same for years and as teamcarlisle said it's been discussed as lot before.

pleppik
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Airbrushing out the plastic defects at 260 degrees.

Post by pleppik » Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:00 pm

I use a heat gun for this purpose, and yes, it works great.

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