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SangreDeDrago

Acetone Vapor Bath Container

by SangreDeDrago Aug 21, 2013
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I had thoughts of making a vapor bath chamber from one of my old printer chassis - I figure they are doing little good otherwise :).
My idea is to add a vapor capture/charcoal filter to it (well apply the one I had on that chassis) and use the old heated bed.
The challenge I have (aside from time to do it) is that I have no idea of how I can know how long is long enough without watching it.

The idea (a few repeated points):

  • Use a printer heated bed
  • use a charcoal filter vapor manager (with inherent overpressure mechanism)
  • use old printer chassis
  • add a clearing fan
  • apply a timed turn-off for the heating element turn on the clearing fan

OK - now I need to add time and some tinkering to my bits.

Well, this brings the acetone vapor bath into my skill level.

I have some questions that are probably very important: How do you heat the acetone? i.e.: What heat source do you use? How do you control the temperature?
I could probably Google this, but you seem to be speaking on my level. Thanks for any response.

A majority of people with 3D printers have the heated print bed which is quite useful not only for printing but also for acetone smoothing. The bed has a temperature control built in. You place a small amount of the acetone into the container (about a teaspoon or so) without the basket in it and put the jar onto the printer bed. Place the item you wish to smooth into the container via the basket and put the lid on. Heat the bed up to around 90-100C (I use 90) and let sit for some time (depends on how large the item is, how smooth you want it, etc). I've been sticking with a 10-15 minute smoothing process with most of my projects.

You can then either remove the lid and take the item out (and put another one in if you're doing multiples) once it's to the smoothness you want or you can let the container cool down and let the vapors become liquid again before opening the jar (they'll condensate on the sides as it cools). If you choose to do the latter, I suggest that once you see the item is almost to the smoothness you want, you tell the printer to cool the bed down since the vapors will take some time to settle back down (and will continue to smooth your item in the process).

I prefer to let it cool since acetone is highly flammable and toxic to your health... I do have my exhaust fan going just in case either way.

Using a maker as a heater had never occurred to me. That opens up some possibilities!

Until my ptfe tubing comes in, my printer can be used to make eggs and some french toast ;)

Awesome! The BB safety valve is pure genius! :D