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Published on July 8th, 2016 | by Geetika Bhasin

Ultrasonic 3D Print Polisher Developed by An Engineer in Portland

An automated UltraSonic 3D print polisher has been designed by Michael Graham, an engineer from Portland, Oregon. This printer uses Acetone vapor to polish the parts of the ABS printer and its building process has been uploaded on Instructables.

A smooth polished surface of a 3D printer is difficult to achieve, especially if there are budget constraints. The 3D print polisher is actually a repurposed ultrasonic water humidifier and the engineer hopes that is works efficiently and is also convenient. He is now working on a more advanced version o f his machine which is more efficient and simplified in processing.

Graham has made a few technical modifications to his earlier model and has come up with a “PRO” version, which has a higher level of efficiency and simplified processing. The polisher now has a single on/off button. It has a single ‘go’ button and uses a closed pumping system which is used for maximum fog production. The new model is completely sealed, can be used indoors, uses less acetone and does not require a water change.

A cool mist humidifier is fit at the core of the 3D polisher. Liquid acetone is pumped from one box into another box containing the 3D part, to create an evenly layered fog layer within the second box. Isopropyl alcohol can be used in place of acetone to get a ‘Polysmooth material’.

Though acetone is known to reduce the material strength, here it makes the overall parts more isotropic. Acetone vapor polishing on ABS parts decreases strength on its strong axis and increases it in the weak axis, as it reacts more uniformly to loads applied from all directions.

Michael Graham will showcase his creation at the Portland Mini Maker Fair, which will be held on September 10-11.


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