Published On: August 9, 2021

The Benefits of Vapour Smoothing

Even models printed with the least porous materials aren’t guaranteed to come out with a smooth, sealed surface, which is why post-processing is a vital step in producing high-quality 3D prints. And in this regard, nothing compares to chemical vapour smoothing.

Unlike physical methods like sanding or media tumbling, vapour smoothing doesn’t remove any material. Instead, we place the model in a sealed chamber where vapour (we use PostPro’s FA 326) attaches to the model’s surface for a controlled chemical melt. Minor peaks and valleys vanish as the material on the surface is liquefied and redistributed, resulting in a finished product with high dimensional accuracy and increased Elongation at Break, thus improving its mechanical properties as well.

Vapour smoothing can also improve the aesthetic qualities of 3D printed objects. Firstly, as the surface is smoothed, it better reflects light, giving it a shiny finish. And secondly, as vapour smoothing is a more controlled process that doesn’t require adding or removing any material, colour parts won’t lose any colour. In fact, due to improved light reflection, colours can appear more vibrant.

Lastly, a vapour smoothed surface is a sealed surface. This means that 3D printed objects will essentially be air and water-tight, increasing their lifespan. A smooth seal will also make it more difficult for bacteria to attach and grow on the object.

If you want to see the benefits of our vapour smoothing process yourself, send us your untreated 3D printed parts or give us a call to receive a complimentary vapour-smoothed sample.