PLA smoothing with acetone... myth or real.

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discussion
(David Selwood) #1

PLA smoothing with acetone… myth or real.
I’ve seen plenty of videos stating that acetone PLA smoothing really does work to some degree…
Does anyone here have any experience in this area.? Not interested in ABS as I do not have a heated printbed…

Any thoughts (safety aside… i’m aware of the risk)

(Javier Prieto) #2

Myth. Try clorophorm

(Ray Kholodovsky) #3

Acetone will affect pla but not in any good or usable way.
This is from back when people tried printing pla with abs as a support material and then put everything in acetone to dissolve the support. Reports came back that acetone had also affected the pla, in the sense of disfiguration, burns, or other issues of that nature, and the print was ruined.

(Carlton Dodd) #4

@Javier_Prieto
I would, but I need it for my date this weekend.

(ThantiK) #5

Myth. Tried it first hand. PLA just breaks down and falls apart.

(Tim Visiblé) #6

I thought I saw “MEK Substitute” floated as a solvent for PLA?

(Ryan Carlyle) #7

MEK Substitute (ethyl acetate I believe) has been reported to work. I haven’t tried it.

(Angel Mercedes) #8

It is a myth. You can try it yourself, pla is not dissolved by acetone.

(Andreas Wettergren) #9

Agreed, acetone does weird things to PLA, but smoothing is not one of them. I’ve done some limited tests with dilute ethyl acetate (acetone free nail polish remover) but have not had any success. Probably needs pure grades and/or some heated vapor variant, but haven’t had a chance to try that yet.

(Dianne Fontayne) #10

I have just last week purchased MEK at bunnings in Australia. It in no way dissolves PLA, it will make it rubbery and easier to clear out nozzles and extruder hardware once soaked in it for at least 24hrs. Must use a well sealed glass jar as MEK evaporates very easily. As stated acetone has no effect on PLA. there is a “Weld on #4” product that will dissolve PLA I believe, it is not available in Australia right now and I am in contact with a solvents distributor who is going to work with me to find a combination that will dissolve PLA and not make me sick or blow up my house.

(Whosawhatsis) #11

Dichloromethane (the active ingredient in weld-on #4), Tetrahydrofuran, and Ethyl Acetate (sold as MEK substitute) have been reported to work.

Of these, Ethyl Acetate is the least toxic (comparable to acetone). It didn’t work when I tried it, but what I bought wasn’t intended for use as a solvent, so it may not have been an appropriate grade/purity.

(Whosawhatsis) #12

Oh, and there are even more formulas and additive mixtures for PLA than there are suppliers. Typically, acetone causes them to crack or has other undesirable effects, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that some formulation responds to acetone more like the way ABS does, so the people who say it works may have had better results than most, but typically they’re just misinformed.

(David Selwood) #13

Ok, thanks for the responses. I think I will give it a miss.

(Jean-François Talbot) #14

XTC-3D, period.