Apoller PVB related questions


I was wondering what the behaviour is off the Apoller in the various settings it has.

Lets say we use the normal shell program, Normal smoothing program and use MEK as solvent.

We have these 3 programs.

So now comes my question does the Z-ABS, Z-ASA or Z-HIPS program use more solvent over the other on the same settings and does it dry on different temperatures?

What happens when you put an ABS print running with the ASA or Z-HIPS mode, how would this affect the smoothing?

I’m asking this because I smooth mainly PVB as material and got mixed results running it on the ABS mode with MEK. Sometimes there appear small bubbles on the smoothed surface when it’s drying.
PVB is an alternative to ABS with similar specs but much easier to print and less toxic.
PVB is recommended to be smoothed with Isopropyl alcohol so my other question is, which solvent of the two looks most like Isopropyl alcohol? MEK or Acetone?

I was also wondering would it be possible for you guys to test Isopropyl alcohol with the Apoller since all 3 solvents are highly flamable and all 3 solvents do smooth 3d material. Maybe it’s an idea for you guys to run some test in your Zortrax lab? :thinking:

The bubbles occur during the rapid drying proces, would it be possible to let the machine smooth by misting the object but to stop the heating process so that I can just open the door and let it dry for a day instead of the instant dry process.

Hi @Zodiac,

every aspect of a smoothing process is managed by proprietary algorithm, hence successful smoothing process is achieved due to automatic management of temperature, pressure, and concentration of solvent’s vapors in the Apoller’s smoothing chamber. The smoothing programs have been carefully programmed and thoroughly tested by our specialists to ensure the best possible smoothing intensity and consistent quality. Thus, if you use an inappropriate smoothing profile - the results will not be as good as expected. The smoothing process must be configured according to the type of solvent poured into the tank.

Please note that the ATEX supports Acetone and MEK only, and using other solvents may be dangerous and should not be attempted. Not also will this void the warranty, but could also damage the device.

When it comes to solvents - both MEK and Acetone are ketones, hence it is difficult to compare them with IPA. However, as Isopropyl alcohol can be oxidized to acetone - we can assume that Acetone is more similar to IPA. Please remember to use solvents in a concentration above 99%.

Could you provide some pictures of the bubbles that occur on a model’s surface?

Best regards

Are there any plans to expand the solvent portfolio of the apoller?

Hi @Martin_K,

we do not have such plans at the moment. We have found that Acetone and MEK not only provide the best smoothing results, but are also safe to use.