Surface finishes

Vapor smoothing services

The vapor polishing process greatly strengthens your 3D printed parts. It is great for parts that need to be structurally strengthened and with a smooth external surface. Vapor polishing is available for MJF and SLS printing processes and can be selected within the quote page.

Types of vapor smoothing

Process
Surface Preparation
Color
Applicable materials
Dimensional affect
Visual appearance
MJF as machined default grey, dyed Nylon PA 2200 and PA12 +/- .05 mm Smooth and glossy
SLS as machined default white, dyed Nylon PA 11 and PA 12 +/- .05 mm Smooth and glossy

Example of a vapor smoothed part

Vapor Polished MJF

Vapor Polished MJF parts have a smooth, sleek, and glossy finish. The process also structurally strengthens the parts.

Vapor Polished SLS

Vapor Polished SLS have a smooth, shiny, and clean finish. The process also structurally strengthens the parts.

Design considerations for vapor smoothing

  • Design your parts with uniform surface and wall thicknesses to ensure even polishing results. Thin walls and sharp corners may not work well with vapor polishing.
  • You may want to design your parts with a loop or hook that can be cut off later so they can be hung in the machine during polishing. Without specific design considerations, the polishing process may leave small marks on the parts. 
  • Complex geometric designs may affect the quality of vapor polished parts. Holes or openings that are too small may be closed during the process. You may also encounter warping issues with designs that are too complex. 

What is vapor smoothing?

Vapor polishing is a 4 step process:

  1. The first step is cleaning and prepping the 3D printed part before placing it on a rack inside the polishing machine.
  2. Secondly, the polishing chamber is sealed with a small amount of solvent inside. Here at JawsTec, we use acetone as our solvent.
  3. The solvent is heated, which then causes the vapor to condense onto the surface of the parts. The acetone condensation then smooths out the surface of the pieces until the desired finish is achieved.
  4. Finally, the part is removed from the chamber and allowed to cool completely.

The JawsTec vapor smoothing process

Our vapor polishing technology uses acetone to smooth your parts and produce a beautiful end product. Place a 3D printing order today and experience the JawsTec Standard by choosing vapor polishing on your order. 

FAQ’s

  • FAQ 1: What material works best with vapor polishing?

    Nylon materials work great with vapor polishing.

  • FAQ 2: What machine does JawsTec use for vapor polishing?

    We use DyeMansion Vapor Fuse machines and AMT post processing machines.

  • FAQ 3: Does vapor polishing alter part features?

    No, vapor polishing does not alter any features of your parts, only the quality of the surfaces.

  • FAQ 4: Does vapor polishing effect the final dimensions of my parts?

    Vapor polishing may effect the dimensions of your parts by +/- .05 mm.

  • FAQ 5: Can the vapor polish effect be replicated at home?

    No, vapor polishing can only be done in a professional workplace because of the necessary hazardous material precautions.

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