sphynx kitty

well I guess the main reason is safety, since I live in an apt and dont want to risk to burn the historical SF building down :) and of course hurt my self

second...vapor bath it's too much of a global fix which cant control much (me dont like)  so I want to be wary on how much I apply depending on kind of obj I am dealing with (smooth surfaces versus stuff with a lot of small details)

Try the method shown in the link.

Can’t really burn the place up and the smoothing is very controlled since it’s slow.

I use this method a lot and it gives incredibly glossy results.


I find that the method you use Andre reduces smaller detail considerably since ABS absorbs moisture and the longer you have it exposed to ABS the deeper it will penetrate

into the abs causing further smoothing even after you remove it from the bin. My method takes 30 seconds and provides a 100% glossy finish with no visible layers and pretty much all small details still remain in take just with smoothed edges.

Here is one of a series of models that I'am currently working with a designer on.

This was only a 30 second acetone bath and required only light sanding on the very top of the head. I shot 

the model with a coat of primer so you can see the details.




You're correct...it smoothes details, but on bigger models it's not bad.

Could you post a link to or desribe your method?


You're correct...it smoothes details, but on bigger models it's not bad.

Could you post a link to or desribe your method?


You're correct...it smoothes details, but on bigger models it's not bad.

Could you post a link to or desribe your method?


Of course!

I'm slightly modifying my method right now as you may not have known that my current method exploded on me

but that was due to me not being cautious as I've been using this technique for over 2 years. I'm making this current method a lot safer so I no longer have to worry about the possibility.


The only difference that my future method will have is a bigger pot and an external single burner stove so I can take the pot away from the burner.

It may take longer as there is more surface area to heat up but I feel this will prevent any possibilities for a flash fire or explosion. 

I understand, but I guess everyone of us settles for what works best :) I dont know why but I am not curious to try the vapor bath with the pot, and the other method with no heat involved, I tried it and no thanks either :)

I want to stress again on the part 'being visually in control' of what solvents do on the plastic application after application. I personally freak out at the idea of leaving something in a pot or a tumbler without being able to see whats going on up close....but that's just me though :)

I know where Maul is coming from. Vapor bath is a quick and easy method for dabblers but it really doesn't give anywhere near the control most serious artists want/require (imo).

I've been playing with rotary tumbling for the past couple of weeks and $300 or so later, the results have been very disappointing. Tried two different ceramic media, stainless shot, and 120-grit garnet powder. The only one that was at all effective was one of the ceramics, but that took 18 hours and still misses crevices due to media size.

I'm thinking a benchtop micro blast cabinet might be ideal but the ones I've seen cost a fortune.


One way to do it with all the control you want is to put the acetone in a pyrex flask that has a port at the top and a way to cork the top.  The flask I use looks like an upside down cone with a rubber cork in the top and a 3/16" glass tube protruding 90 degrees from the top.  Attach a silicone hose (about 3/16" ID) to the outlet port of the flask.  Also, put some rocks in the bottom with the acetone so that it boils evenly and doesn't flash or splatter.  Put the pyrex flask on a hot plate (NOT AN OPEN FLAME) at around 110C (you can use the heated bed of your printer if it gets that hot) and you will see the acetone start to bubble and the gas layer will slowly move up the walls of the flask.  Once it reaches the top it will be forced through the glass port an through the silicone tube and you will have a steady stream of acetone vapor flowing so that you can "brush" your part with the vapor (nothing touches other than the acetone vapor).  You can vapor polish heavy areas for longer periods and finer areas quickly so you get as even of a finish as your patience allows.  

You have to be careful since the vapor condenses in the cooler silicone tube.  I always keep the length of the tube sloping upward so any condensed vapor runs back into the flask instead of spurting onto the part.

I've used this method many years to vapor polish Polycarbonate and Acrylic with Methylene Chloride and it works VERY quickly on those materials.  You can turn a rough looking Acrylic or Polycarb edge into clear as glass in about 3 seconds using Methylene Chloride vapor polishing with the hose method.  

WARNING.., Methylene Chloride is much more toxic than Acetone so it requires much better ventilation.  Neither method should be uses anywhere there is an open flame because the gases are heavier than air and can accumulate if they don't have a way to escape.