We know from this answer, 3d printed materials continue to outgas after printing and being cured. My question relates to this:

  • How much does heating the printed object after printing (or being cured) affect out-gassing?
  • Does the continued out-gassing degrade the stability/quality of the print?

This is not an answer to your question, but it relates to outgassing so I am sharing it here.

I have used the acetone vapor method of smoothing the surface of ABS prints. It works really well, and the surface becomes much smoother and glassy. I printed a large coffee mug (lets, for the moment, ignore food safety issues) and made it very smooth.

After a couple of weeks to allow the acetone to fully evaporate, I poured a nice, hot cup of tea. Unfortunately, the acetone had not fully left the print, and the surface was immediately covered with dozens of bubbles as the acetone evaporated and pushed against the ABS.

This effect was only because of the acetone. Another cup that had not been vapor smoothed worked perfectly and was unaffected by the hot water.

I have not seen similar outgassing from PLA, ABS, Nylon, or PETG.

If I may hazard an opinion about the substance of your question...

I don't think that outgassing is the biggest contributor to the aging of prints and their properties changing. I suspect that (perhaps not in order) these are larger factors:

  1. exposure to UV light. UV light breaks polymer bonds and reduces the strength of plastic.
  2. absorption of water vapor, which can both expand the material which causes stress, and chemically break polymer bonds.
  3. long-term crystallization of the material
  4. fatigue from repeated sub-failure stress

NASA used to have resources that spoke to outgassing rates related to suitability for space applications.

  • $\begingroup$ NASA still has the database available: Outgassing Data for Selecting Spacecraft Materials. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Aug 1 '18 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @Oscar. I'll edit to add your first comment. $\endgroup$ – cmm Aug 1 '18 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ No problem, I'll remove the link when you fixed it in the answer. By the way it is Oscar with a zero (0scar), that way I get pinged! And please remember to vote on questions. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Aug 1 '18 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar -- does this ping you? I need a better font with slashed zeros. $\endgroup$ – cmm Aug 2 '18 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, Yes this pings me ! Note that when you type the @ and the first letter gives you a suggestion name, if if does not show the letter is wrong. I will delete this comment later today. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Aug 2 '18 at 4:47

The effect of temperature on outgas rates is a subject for Engineering.SE . As to continued outgassing - depends on the material in question. To pick an extreme example, solid CO2 (dry ice) will outgas until it's gone. But stuff that's got VOCs is expected to outgas; said volatiles leave by design and the remaining material stands on its own.


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