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Are there any techniques for getting a smooth finish for parts printed with co-polyester (PET) filaments? More specifically, I am looking for an alternative that does not roughen the look of the part - such as using sandpaper - but rather works like acetone baths for ABS.

In particular, I want to treat ColorFabb's XT filament made from the Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer (datasheet). This is also the polymer is also used in:

  • ColorFabb nGen and XT
  • Taulman3D n-vent
  • TripTech Athiri 1800
  • 3DXTech 3DXNano
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Ethyl acetate (sold as a MEK substitute) is supposed to work for vapor smoothing PET. It doesn't seem very toxic (it's used to decaffinate cofee and tea, and as a nail polish remover), but you might want to look more into it. There's a post on Printed Solid's blog where he vapor smoothed colorFabb XT and MadeSolid PET+ along with a few other filaments and got some good results.

http://printedsolid.com/blogs/news/37035395-vapor-smoothing-3d-printed-parts-pla-colorfabb-xt-t-glase-pet

The links in the blog don't work for me, but google was able to find slightly larger versions:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0887/0138/files/blog_2014-03-20-18.38.04-1024x613.jpg?16147388421280943481

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0887/0138/files/blog_2014-03-21-18.16.28-1024x612.jpg?9543779874607042697

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  • $\begingroup$ This seems like fairly reasonable solution for PET. Thanks for sharing! $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Jan 19 '16 at 11:27
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I've found a chart which covers several plastics and solvents and only two of them (Chloromethane and Chloroform) are rated "D" which includes dissolving the material and both seem to be quite nasty and I doubt you will be able to purchase them without being placed on several lists.

Is it possible that something like XTC-3D from Smooth-On would work for you?

Also some more information on dissolving PET here, several sources also mention PET is affected by Hydrogen Peroxide but they do not mention to what degree the plastic is affected.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for sharing some great resources! I will certainly not be experimenting with pure ozone or phosphorus any time soon, but some product like XTC-3D could potentially be of help. All in all, it seems like PET is a fairly stable plastic chemically. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Jan 18 '16 at 19:38

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