Posted by      06/13/2020 12:33:52    0 Comments
Transparent plastics post processing

Yes, these are real. These are really printed vases. In this master class, we will talk about making 3d printouts into real glass imitation.

As you can imagine, this technique can be use for a large variety of things, like glass and plastic prototyping, light panels, stained glass and just any beautiful-eye-catching-colorful-thing production.

Let's start with the printout requirements.


In ideal case the object must be prepared with “spiral vase” function of your slicer and printed with a fairly substantial wall thickness. Of course, you can print without it, but you need to keep in mind that the object must be printed with one wall (perimeter)! This is very important as air residue between walls prevents its transformation in transparent “glass”.

Изображение выглядит как снимок экранаАвтоматически созданное описание

I printed these vases with 1.2 mm nozzle and 2.5 Extrusion Width (Perimeters).
This setup makes you print 1.5-3 mm wide walls in one pass.

Изображение выглядит как снимок экранаАвтоматически созданное описание

Of course, you have to sacrifice printing speed in this case, since such a thick wall cools down rather slowly, and the temperature of the extruder must be kept rather high so that the extruder motor can cope with such a flow. However, partly low (15-30mm / s) printing speed is compensated by a layer height of 0.3-0.4mm, which can be safely set for such a nozzle without loss of interlayer adhesion. Lowering the thickness of the layer and, as a result, reducing the amount of material applied in one pass, in turn, will allow increasing the printing speed.

Изображение выглядит как чашка, стекло, стол, едаАвтоматически созданное описание

Here it is up to you what you want to get, as the higher the layers the lower air content in between. And the more transparent the result.

However, the air between the layers can also be fought - I polished the nozzle section and slightly heaped the edges of the section to get a mirror surface of the applied plastic.

This, perhaps, is all about printing.


Now let’s talk about the process of post-processing printouts


We need the usual solvent, which can be bought at any goods store. It is a common thinner for oil (MA), pentaphthalic (PF) and hephthalic enamels (GF) and varnishes. It has a fairly low volatility, and therefore dries slowly, which is good for us. But the smell ... The smell is very significant and strong! Gasoline-like. Therefore, work with it should be in a well-ventilated area or in a respirator for paintwork. As for the toxicity index, it is the same for the solvent as for gasoline - drinking it and inhaling the vapors is contraindicated, but not fatal the worst outcome for you is a bad-trip))

Изображение выглядит как стол, чашка, бутылка, внутреннийАвтоматически созданное описание

Secondly, we need a container made of solvent insoluble plastic: polyethylene, polypropylene. Or an ordinary enameled basin. And a spray gun. Again, it is important that it does not dissolve in the solvent. Usually this does not happen, since most of these products are made from HDPE or PP, and bottles from PETE. 

Изображение выглядит как стол, внутренний, бутылка, чашкаАвтоматически созданное описание

Thirdly, we need a piece of glass. I think that everyone can find it in the house. Then it can be washed with the same solvent.

And another very important tool is a hair dryer! The usual hair dryer that your wife does not let you sleep with in the morning)) 


Let's start.


Fill the spray gun with solvent, put the printout in a basin and begin to spray, trying not to pour everything around and do not pour it on our hands. I don’t recommend wearing rubber gloves - they will dissolve on your hands, but you can use disposable polyethylene ones.

Изображение выглядит как чашка, стол, внутренний, кофеАвтоматически созданное описание
It is advisable to start spraying with the inner surface of the printout. It should be covered quickly in several layers and without stinting on the solvent. It is necessary that it flows down the walls. Next, pour the excess solvent into a basin, otherwise we get transparent slime instead of a vase.


Then we put vase bottom up and spray the exterior.

Изображение выглядит как стол, внутренний, чашка, стеклоАвтоматически созданное описание


Then we take it carefully by the bottom and put it on the glass. We spray the bloopers on the bottom with a solvent and they get smoothed out. Then we take a hair dryer, which should be set in advance in hot air and maximum flow and dry the bottom, avoiding to dry the slice of the vase in order for it to not to stick to the glass.

Изображение выглядит как чашка, стол, внутренний, стеклоАвтоматически созданное описание

As soon as the bottom stops sticking to the fingers (a couple of minutes) we put a vase on it. If the slice of the vase is a little dried up and the plastic snot is pulled, dip it in a basin with excess solvent and shake off the drops. Dry with the same hairdryer holding the bottom up and then put it on the bottom. Everything should be done quite quickly, since the plastic dissolves in solvent rather fast!

Then five minutes of drying with hot air from a hair dryer and here you have warm and slightly flexible glass in your hands!

Изображение выглядит как стол, стекло, внутренний, чашкаАвтоматически созданное описание

That's it! Enjoy!

Unless, no ... We must also etch the smell of solvent from the beauty obtained, and this can be problematic. At the moment I have several products in the oven at 80C. Then I will write about the results later/ the results. Most likely everything will turn out – worst case scenario we will still have to rinse them with soap.

P.S. everything above is meant to be done with “Filametarno!” Prototyper T, S and M filament series.

Video from friends about the process

Attention! The main part of the video is in Russian. Use subtitles to include the desired language)

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