Using different types of filament with the Zortrax Apoller => comparing results


#1

I thought it might be interesting to share the findings of using different types of filament with the Zortrax Apoller - its meant to be an open system, compatible with various types of filament.
Some will probably work better than others for smoothing, it might be nice to share the findings here to help others in the process.


#2

So far I have used black Ultimaker ABS for smoothing in the Zortrax Apoller - I tried it once with MEK and once with Acetone.

There was definitely smoothing happening, although I would have thought that the final result is a lot more, than what I got. Horizontal steps are still present and clearly visible, that is for parts printed on an Ultimaker 3 with a vertical resolution of 0.15mm.

Like I said in my other post, the software on the Apoller doesn’t currently give me many options regarding smoothing behaviour (although in the manual there’s a lot more mentioned), maybe a software update is due?

I will try again with pieces with a finer resolution.

Here are some photos (the left part is the original, raw part - the right one is the part after smoothing, setting=high, with Acetone as smoothing material). Note that the horizontal lines have disappeared mostly, but that the steps on top of the model are still present (I would have expected a bit more).


#3


#4

I just use a deep stainless saucepan on an induction hob with acetone. Takes about 30 seconds and the results are amazing. Obviously acetone vapour is volatile, but I’ve never had an issue. I’m careful but have been doing it for years on almost everything I make. You end up with a smooth glossy surface. Your models look much more matt than I would have expected.


#5

Yes - I have been doing the same. I am doing a lot of 3D printing for work, and needed a safe and easy to use process for a workplace environment, hence the Apoller is very interesting.

I am still trying out the device, but from what I got as first results - I would have expected a bit more …
The software doesn’t really allow much to modify the smoothing process, only lets me select between low, medium and high smoothing settings (the results above are on high) - it would be great if I could adjust it even further …


#6

When it comes to external materials - results may be different. Also, best results can be achieved with MEK and “high” smoothing profile.

Before you start the smoothing process, we recommend that you gently scrub the model’s surface (especially parts with visible layers) with a scalpel or cutting knife. Also, you can try smoothing the model in a slightly different orientation.

We are open to your suggestions, though. Our specialists may provide new smoohting profiles with increased intensity.

Have you tried smoothing other materials? Also, what about the quality of solvents you used?

Thank you for your feedback :slight_smile:

Best regards


#7

Hi Caroline

thanks a lot for your reply.

I will try again with MEK - I did have the impression that the whole vapour creation was a lot more vigorous with MEK than it is with Acetone.

So far I have just tried black Ultimaker ABS - I will try different materials in the next couple of days.

Regarding the quality of the solvents - I buy Methyl Ethyl Ketone and Acetone from SHL Manufacturing Ltd in UK - both are labelled with a purity of >99.8%

You mentioned using different orientation for smoothing, do you have any tips & tricks on this?

best regards

Felix


#8

Hi Felix,

Thank you for sharing additional information with us. We will keep that in mind.

No, sadly, we do not have tips&tricks available - however, we are working on them.

Best regards


#9

I have now ordered ASA and HIPS filament and will report my findings on here.

best regards

Felix


#10

Hi Felix,

So we will be waiting for your further feedback :slight_smile:

Best regards


#11

For anybody who might be following this - I am still working on testing different settings.
I am printing the same part with ABS, ASA and HIPS and treat it with low, medium and high smoothing in the Apoller - comparing afterwards the results to an untreated raw part.
Just takes a bit of time … but I will report back on here once I am through :slight_smile:


#12

the following photo shows ABS raw (top left), ABS with high Acetone treatment (top right), ASA raw (bottom left), ASA with high MEK treatment


#13

close up comparison, ABS raw vs ABS with Acetone smoothing (high setting)


#14

close up comparison, ASA raw vs ASA with MEK smoothing (high setting)


#15

comparison ABS raw, ABS medium Acetone treatment, ABS high Acetone treatment (from left to right)


#16

comparison ASA raw, ASA high MEK tratment (left to right)


#17

using MEK on ABS parts, here parts with smaller features and thinner walls


#18

close up details of the above


#19

more close up details of the above


#20

using MEK on ASA parts, here parts with smaller features and thinner walls