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*controlled* dissolution of an ABS or PLA print for shiny surface
#1
Hi everyone, hope I can get some pointers on the subject matter. I need to have a surface of a 3D printed model very smooth and shiny. It will later be made into an RTV mold, and I'm looking for the best way to create shiny surface because RTV will pick up every little wrinkle and irregularity.

I have seen people dump their prints into acetone bath but in the end they kinda look like ice cream that someone left out in the Sun. It also looks like acetone is not only very strong but works in uncontrollable way - attacks small details and crevices more aggressively (I assume because of the larger surface area).

I can print it in either ABS or PLA - whichever works best for the post-processing that creates the best surface quality. So, is there an alternative to acetone, which is exactly the substance I would like to avoid having to deal with? Can it be watered down (with anything, not necessarily water of course)? What do you think is the best way to achieve the result I'm looking for?

Did anyone try flame polishing like it's done to acrylic or am I absolutely nuts even bringing this up for usual 3D printing materials?

Thanks!
Polytech
Idea Disseminating Engineering Knowledge - do it today!
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#2
There is the traditional sanding and filling method using bondo or spot glazing putty you'd find in the automotive section of wal-mart or at the hardware store.

I've heard of folks using rock tumblers too, though I havent tried that particular method myself.
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