Acetone vaporizing is one of the post-processing methods used for smoothing down the surface of a print and giving it a more eye-catching finishing. This method works only with prints made ABS.

3D Printing Post Processing: Acetone Vaporizing


Acetone is a highly hazardous substance. Wear safety gloves while using acetone. Avoid inhaling acetone haze as it may irritate your respiratory system.

Would you like to have a glossy finish to your printed pieces? Test the method of vaporization with acetone. What you will need:

  • A model printed from ABS
  • Acetone
  • A piece of gauze
  • A glass container
  • Magnets
  • A mat made of a material that doesn’t react with acetone, e.g. glass

1-Preparing the Model

Remove the raft and the support using pliers.

Use the scalpel from the Starter Kit box to remove the remaining support.

2-Setting up the Container

Put the gauze at the bottom of the jar and secure it using magnets.

Soak the gauze in 50 ml of acetone (1.70 fl.oz.). You can do it by pouring the substance directly onto the gauze. Remember to do it carefully; acetone should not leak from the gauze inside the jar.

3-Finishing off the Model

Place the model on the mat. Remember that the surface upon which the model stands will not be exposed to the acetone vapor and, as a result, it will not be smoothened.

Cover the model with the jar and leave for about an hour. The model shouldn’t be kept under the jar for more than an hour as the acetone vapor may melt the details completely and cause irreversible changes in the material structure. Vaporizing may influence the physical properties of the material and decrease its firmness.

Take off the container and leave the model for a few hours to air dry.

Once the model has dried, it is ready to be painted.

On the left, there is a model after vaporizing and on the right, there is the same model before this process.

3D Printing Post Processing: Acetone Vaporizing