Anyone tried polysmooth?

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Spikeysonic
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:07 am

Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby Spikeysonic » Wed May 17, 2017 12:17 am

Did anyone try polysmooth?


Settings, reality of use, not sales hype problems, fixes, experiences? Also how smooth and shiny can you get it without the Poloysher nebuliser spray booth?

ie using a garden spray bottle with isopropanol...

Also any luck with the transparent one, how glassy and clear can you get it?

itehlab
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:56 pm

Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby itehlab » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:24 pm

Hi,

We have a Polysher machine and one white spool of Polysmooth in our office. We did two prints so far (one 7 cm rabbit and five 3 cm owls), so what I’m about to say can only count as limited experience :)

Also know that our firm sells Raise3D printers and Polyshers, so you can take this review as whatever you’d like, but I thought I’d answer your thread since no one has yet posted a reply. I am a technician at our company and not in marketing, hopefully it will make this quick review as realistic as can be.

Polysmooth (the material):

I used PLA settings, but changed the heated bed to 70°C (BuildTak surface) and nozzle temperature to 220°C, prints just like PLA. I found no warping at all, although the objects I printed are fairly small and geometry is warp-friendly, so I have to print something bigger to really test it out. Polysmooth costs 44,95 € (incl. VAT) for 750g, so it’s not the cheapest, but is in the same range as other Polymaker materials, which generally have good quality. Again, I have not printed enough to really guarantee it always works as smoothly as it did for me, but so far so good. I used 1 “Vertical offset top layers” in IdeaMaker and the support material went away like a charm. But do note that if you leave behind any dots or lines from support on your object, they will stay visible even after you put it in your Polysher (as you can see on the corner of rabbit’s mouth).

Polysher (the machine):

Working area: 150 mm (diameter) x 180 mm (height) cylinder

Not much to say about operating it, you basically put your objects on to the platform, close the machine and turn the knob to let the machine know for how long you want to run it. The knob works in 5 minute iterations (you can choose 5 min, 10 min, 15 min etc.), suggested smoothing time is between 20 to 40 minutes. The smoothing agent is alcohol, you have to use above 70% grade for it to work and they recommend using above 90% for best results. You can get high concentration alcohol for 5 – 10 € per liter at your local hardware store. We used one that was above 90% grade and kept the objects in the machine for 20 minutes.

Polysher retails at 349,95 € (incl. VAT), which was also why we decided for this product. As anyone who’s been in FDM 3D-printing long enough, we tried the acetone and ABS combination with mixed results, so spending a few bucks for a machine that is safer and easy to use was a no-brainer. For someone owning a 500 € printer, the price might be steep, but if you are already using Raise3D to achieve higher quality and want to get rid of visible layers, I personally think the price is quite reasonable to get that finishing touch. This is up to the user to decide, of course. If you’re only printing objects with no aesthetic value, I doubt you’ll be looking into Polysher any further.

Finished objects look good, but bear in mind that whilst smoothing objects will get rid of visible layers, it might affect your overall geometry, especially if you leave your objects in it for too long. As with acetone and ABS, the object is going to get keep getting smoother for some time after you’ve taken it out, so it might be smart to stop the machine a bit early and let your object rest for an hour or two.

One thing I certainly like about Polyher is that it distributes the alcohol around the chamber nicely, which was really hard to do with acetone vaper in a jar, so generally the objects are going to have equally smooth surfaces. This is not a magic box though, so your result may be geometry dependent, especially if you have a network of pipes running through your object for example.

You can find a few pictures attached to this post; I tried to do closeups with my phone to show the layers, I hope you can get any extra information from that. The picture with the 3 owls shows from left to right: PLA printed -> Polysmooth printed and 15 minutes in Polysher -> Polysmooth printed and 20 minutes in Polysher. The owls are 3 cm tall (a coin for reference – I hope someone gets the “my two cents” pun here) and were printed with 0.2 mm layers. The PLA one could look a lot better, but they were fast prints of a hundred owls at a time and the quality didn’t matter as much as speed. Sadly, I don’t have a Polysmooth printed owl before it went into Polysher, so I can’t give a proper comparison, but the quality was about the same as PLA.

I still have some Polysmooth material left, so if you guys have any suggestions, I can try printing something that will look good. I will definitely print a box with a sign (like an electronics casing), because most pictures show only organic shapes, which might not be completely fair.
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Last edited by itehlab on Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

itehlab
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:56 pm

Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby itehlab » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:31 pm

Oh, and the rabbit was in Polysher for about 25 minutes. Here's another photo I couldn't upload with the first post (probably size limit).
Attachments
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Jetguy
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Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby Jetguy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:24 pm

I need to dig out the pictures but I too have been playing with Polysmooth and the Polysher. The one test for me that was most important was the clear Polysmooth and seeing how truly clear I could make a single wall object. What I found is, DO NOT use too high of an extrusion temp or else, that makes tiny bubbles and surface roughness in the clear polysmooth that no amount of polishing using the polisher will take out. That was also said in the Polysmooth forums. So basically, for best results, print at 210C or less extrusion temp, and I found 205C on my machine to give the best results. Again, sorry, need to dig out the parts and prints for results but it really does work.

Another note on the Polysher unit itself is that from the factory, my internal leadscrew that raises and lowers the entire platform had NO lubrication from the factory. This causes a very noticeable binding and alternating high speed slow speed of the lift motor as it raises and lowers. The unfortunate part is you nearly have to take the entire machine apart to get to this, apply silicone based grease (I used Superlube brand) and then reassemble. Another mod I made what that the motor in the base is inside a little plastic carrier "box" that can rotate inside the bearing. The way the system works, there are no limit switches on the axis, instead, there is a switch so that when the leadscrew motor binds, it can rotate that mounting box and hit a torque limit switch. Well, I found the motor (a cheap GM3 style right angle gearbox) was not perfectly aligned to the shaft as mounted. So I removed the 2 long screws that go through the box and through the gearmotor so that the motor could better self align in it's mount, and that way the motorshaft to threaded rod coupler was not binding and wearing. After that, mine is 10 times smoother and quieter and much nicer when raising and lowering. It's a shame that little details like this from the factory are not addressed because it changes the overall user impression and heaven forbid your machine fails from wear and tear in this one place.

Spikeysonic
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Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby Spikeysonic » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:11 pm

Anyone tried skipping the gadget and just sraying the models or some form of cheap DIY way to spray or mist it?

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Julia Truchsess
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Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby Julia Truchsess » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:35 pm

Spikeysonic wrote:Anyone tried skipping the gadget and just sraying the models or some form of cheap DIY way to spray or mist it?

The ultrasonic nebulizer in the Polysher produces really small microdroplets of aerosol; I think it might be difficult to get this with a "spray bottle" approach, and you'll end up with runs and drips. But hey, give it a try and let us know how it works :)

Re printing, I agree with Jetguy - lower temp is generally better. PolySmooth is very tolerant of extrusion temp - I usually go for 205º and have printed it without any bed heat (on a non-Raise printer, using raft).

Jetguy
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Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby Jetguy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:05 pm

And, just to clarify, my post was combining a thought that while there are different colors of Polysmooth filament, the one that really sold a lot of folks on trying is was clear. The fundamental problem that extruding plastic and printing layer by layer, it's hard to produce a near transparent single wall print. Even if the filament came out perfectly round, stacking layers, that is still layer interfaces and tons of refraction. There have been all kind of approaches to printing "clear" single wall objects, everything from epoxy index of refraction matching coatings you paint on, to trying to heat anneal the part, different plastic types, different settings and layer heights for days.
The one factor I saw and also read in Polymaker forums was for clear, extrusion temp is something you should tune to get the clearest possible print before polishing. The better you start off, the more impressive the end result is.

In the end, Polysmooth really is a breakthrough in printing nearly clear single wall structures.
Here is a great link and guide (about halfway down in this update) http://richrap.blogspot.com/2017/06/3d- ... -2017.html

Here is another one with more examples. http://www.fabbaloo.com/blog/2016/12/14 ... ing-system

From Polymaker themselves http://www.polymaker.com/polysmooth-transparent/

Jetguy
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Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby Jetguy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:16 pm

Now, to also better answer the totally fair question of what happens if you use spray on alcohol VS using the Polysher tool and vapor.

I don't have first hand experience with trying (spraying or painting on with a brush or sponge IPA) with Polysmooth filament, but I can tell you I expect the same problems we see with using ABS and Acetone, because the effect and function is pretty much the same. The issue is, you want a controlled exposure ONLY to the very surface of the part as it's chemically "melting" it. Too much and it runs and drips, but worse, not using vapor, you can soak in too much solvent (in this case, IPA) and it gets INSIDE the part and into the layers. At this point, your part becomes a melted blob and/or will be rubbery soft and not rigid and thus prone to deforming under gravity for extremely long periods of time (potentially days and weeks). Again, taking a known solvent to a print, especially painted or sprayed on can result in total disaster and unexpected results (staying soft and deforming days later due to trapped solvent inside the print eating it from the inside out). Using vapor in the way the Polysher works, and the controlled exposure produces a much better result. Also, on ABS, we would get a white or cloudy film from acetone when the printed part got too much exposure or drips, basically ruining the finish, and knowing how IPA on SLA resin prints can do the same, I would again, test first on small objects that if it destroys it, no big deal before taking some hour long print, and then making a big mistake.

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Julia Truchsess
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Re: Anyone tried polysmooth?

Postby Julia Truchsess » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:29 pm

Agreed on all points; just a clarification - Polysmooth doesn't really polish in IPA vapor per se, or maybe it would but it'd take a very long time. The Polysher works by depositing microdroplets of IPA (the aerosol mist) on the surface of the model.


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