Post Processed Prints?

Is it OK to show post-processed prints here?
Some folks only want to learn from raw prints and settings. As a lifelong model maker, I see the print as a starting point. Clearly the better the print the less post processing and clean up is needed. Sure, I do leave some prints unprocessed too.
Being new here, I do not wish to crash the vibe.

I wasn’t aware there is such a vibe. I, for one, certainly wouldn’t mind seeing what ppl have done with the prints.

Post processing parts is part of making. Personally, I’d like to learn more about smoothing PLA without buying an acetone vaporizer! Please do show your final parts and please include what you did to get there!


#Alan Acetone does not smooth PLA. Nothing I have tried does. So you are left with conventional filling, sanding, priming and painting.

Acetone does smooth ABS parts. Plus a paint jar with acetone and scraps of ABS filament or chopped up supports (even failed prints) makes, in thinnest form, a slurry to improve bed adhesion. A thicker, treacle-like, consistancy can be dabbed or wiped over flaws and layer lines, used to reinforce weak areas or glue cracked or broken parts. The only caveat is to allow a full day for the acetone to evaporate out of the polymer. Then it can be burnished, remodelled or otherwise tweaked.


Here is a multipart model of a bag-carrier block for a Brompton folding bicycle.Brompton Front Carrier by altrome - Thingiverse Printed in Royal Blue ABS, 1.6mm layer height, speed 70mm, 250/110 HE/Bed, on an Ender 5 with storage bag enclosure. The smoothing was done in a large pickle jar with a metal lid. Acetone damped kitchen towel was placed in the bottom and each part was done seperately suspended on fine fishing line. As soon as I could see a gloss starting to form I pulled the part out of the vapour. The gloss continues to develop for some minutes after removal so be careful. I will expand on this if anyone is interested.

Does it make the parts stronger?

Is your Ender 5 enclosed? If not, what do you do about the ABS fumes?

@Mr_Doohickey Thanks for the correction. I was confusing PLA with a kit made by PolyMaker for one of their special filaments. Have you ever tried is Smooth-On by XTC3D (or its equivalent)?


Learn something new every day. Of course I’ve heard of epoxy coatings and such, but I didn’t know there are special blends just for 3D prints.

No smoothing does not make parts stronger. CNC Kitchen did a great set of tests demonstrating this. However it does make the surfaces more water and air tight which is good for boxes, vases and stuff that needs to be free of pores and crevices, eg medical equipment.

To enclose my printer I came up with a simple shroud based on a cheap vacuum storage bag. It traps the heat and most of the fumes (which vary a lot between makes of ABS). The workroom can be ventilated and I can walk away while any fumes clear. Simply by retaining waste heat from the unit, I get a 10-15C gradient beteween the the electronics at the bottom and the nozzle level. I was going to share modifications to my Ender 5 in a different forum on this site, but wanted to get a feel for how many Ender 5 users were hereabouts.

Polysmooth filament has had good reviews. You actually don’t need the smoothing enclosure as you can mount your print on a piece of dowel and gently spray a fine mist of Isopropryl Alcohol from a house plant atomiser onto the model while gently rotating it in all axes. Think trying to stop a melting ice lolly from dripping on the floor! Be careful as IPA is highly flammable, especially in atomised form.

Have got XCT3D on the shelf but have yet to find the perfect job to try it on.

re: not making stronger –> good to know (GtK)
I have been looking at how to make an enclosure from something as big as the Ender 5. I have been considering using 2 Lakh tables, one upside down but, believe it or not, Ikea doesn’t put the dimensions of the tables on their web site. Who ever heard of trying to sell tables without stating their size? Anyway, my idea was, in order to print ABS, ASA (which I suspect I would use more than ABS as it’s stronger and UV proof), and other noxious filaments is that I would let them print inside the enclosure, then I would have a fan mounted on the side of the enclosure that would draw the fumes out through an odor absorbing furnace filter like one of these: or…25-4/202823270 or…4825/206868655

Thanks for IPA warning: I am well aware of its potential for hazard. I would perform any such procedures outdoors.

#Ender5r Some kind soul posted a dimensioned drawing here Ikea lack table (all dimensions) by geobruce - Thingiverse It is definately a tight squeeze as the X-axis bar will end up almost touching the wall material (board or acetate, whatever). The internal unobstructed footprint is 444x444mm and the Ender5’s base is 410x410mm. The Y-axis pullys and stepper project fore and aft giving a max Y axis dimension of 490mm and the X axis max is 510mm.

Yes, you could shoehorn the printer in. Actually you would have to build the cabinet around it! A bit like when they started putting big block V8 s into smaller sports cars. Fun while they run, but a pain to maintain.

From my calculations a practical container volume of 600x600x700mm (LxWxH) would be a minimum.

Thanks for that. Sad news, but better to know than not. When I get to that point, I guess I’ll have to construct something. Michael @ TeachingTech did one out of plexi, but he had to construct a bit of a weird extended box thing for the top part. It a little ungainly, but I guess it works OK.

#End5r Mmmm I am not sure he is totally sold on his solution either. The brush strips allow a lot of heat to slip out. Encasing the top half of the printer and trapping the hot air and waste heat radiating from the hot end and bed seems a better solution and relies on simple convection. The hottest part is kept near where the print is being laid down and the ambient air is warmed around the electronics at the bottom, or more accurately the electronics are cooled by the ambient air which then can rise into the cased section. I will have to do a proper explanation in the “modding” forum.

Absolutely. I think it is a great idea to share post-processing ideas.