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


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 …


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


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



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


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

best regards



Hi Felix,

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

Best regards


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:


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


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


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


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


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


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


close up details of the above


more close up details of the above


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


close up details of the above


more close up details of the above


sorry for the multiple, single answers - but the forum didn’t let me post more than one photo per reply.

Looking at the above tests/results:

  • the parts I used as example are items which I am currently anyway printing, I wanted to see how the Apoller performs for ASA and ABS, both for thin walled parts with fine details, edges and corners - and for larger parts with round and smooth surfaces.

my personal impression is the following:

  • the results of MEK are better than the results of Acetone smoothing, the best results were the combination of ASA with MEK

  • smoothing items with fine details and thin walls doesn’t work as well as smoothing objects with larger, rounder features

  • for the thin walled items, I actually found that smoothing was more counter productive, layering and steps became a lot more visible after smoothing (see above photos), especially the stepping at the top surface became a lot more pronounced

  • for the larger items, smoothing worked quite well, and managed to smooth most of the layering out of the model, although it didn’t manage to completely eliminate steps and top surface printing patterns

The parts which I used for testing were not treated before in any way, they were printed with black Ultimaker ABS and black Fillamentum extrafill traffic ASA.
I used some parts which I was anyway working on, so didn’t select anything which would be specifically suited or unsuited for smoothing - just some print files which I had at hand.

Overall I would say that it seems quite suitable for larger parts, with big surface features - but rather contra productive for smaller, thin walled items.

I am looking forward to hear other people’s thoughts and see what other people have experienced with the Apoller.


here some more photos, this is printed on an Ultimaker 3 with normal settings (layer height of 0.15mm) with black Ultimaker ABS.

Smoothing was done with MEK on “normal” smoothing setting.
I find that I get a bit better results if an object is placed on the glass table, compared to the object hanging down from the top of the smoothing chamber.