The normal surface finish of FDM® parts is suitable for most purposes, but in applications where a smoother surface is required, solvent smoothing is an
alternative to sanding, filling and mass finishing.
Solvent smoothing utilizes a chemical agent to smooth a part’s surfaces. This process modifies the surface of FDM parts by eliminating layer lines while preserving feature detail and part accuracy. The smoothing agent can be applied either as a liquid or a vapor and it is quick and nearly labor-free. The finish achieved can mimic that of injection molded parts.
Solvent smoothing is applicable for SR30™ and the ABS family of materials. Parts
that have been solvent smoothed may have surface bubbling when exposed to
temperatures above 70°C (160°F).
Common applications where solvent smoothing is applicable:
• Electroplating/vacuum metallization
• Liquid sealing (low pressure)
• Air pressure (low pressure)
• Mold masters (i.e., silicone molding, sand casting, investment casting,
For more information, download the full best practices document here.