Post Processing 3D Prints with Nail Polish Top Coat

Post Processing 3D Prints with Nail Polish Top Coat


Welcome to another episode of Tinkerine experiment! We are going to try to smooth out our PLA
print with this nail polish top coat today. I was watching a video and saw that it was
a possible to smooth prints with nail polish top coat by melting the top layer so I guess we’ll
try to validate it today. Well let’s start! We’ll put on one coat onto the gem. I’ll just put the top coat on one side
so we can see the difference between the two after it dries up. The reason why this should work and melt the PLA is that the top coat does consist of ethyl acetate which melts PLA over time but I guess we’ll find out! Now we just gotta let it dry. After a couple minutes, it’s all dried up. Now, let’s take a look at it. The pillars where we applied the top coat
is really smooth surprisingly. That being said, instead of melting the surface
layer of the PLA, it looks like it just basically created a top layer so essentially an additional
layer on top. Although that is not how we anticipated for the top coat to work on our PLA. We did achieve the same results technically. Compared to the top coat that we sprayed before
in a previous experiment on this benchy boat. The results are completely different. The gem is completely glossed and smooth while
the benchy coat on the other hand is just glossy but it’s not smooth. It retains the lines which is very interesting
as both of them are top coats. Well, there we have it, we tried post processing
with nail polish top coat and it turned out nicely. Although it didn’t work out like we planned
for it to melt the surface of the PLA, in the end it still smooth out the surface for
us. Instead of melting the PLA, it added and created
an extra layer on top. Definitely an easier way to smoothing the
surface than sanding, and a lot quicker too! That’s the end of our experiment today! If you liked our video please give a thumbs
up and if you did not then a thumbs down below. Remember to subscribe and comment on what
experiments you would like to see in the future. Thank you for watching. Tinker Out!

9 Replies to “Post Processing 3D Prints with Nail Polish Top Coat”

  1. I had an idea about smoothing PLA and thought I'd get your thoughts on it.
    Although this would take a long time, it requires almost zero effort:
    Water down some wood glue (50:50 by volume seems like a good start).
    Dip the print in the solution, gently shake it off.
    Hang to dry.
    Repeat each day for however long it takes.

    My reasoning for this idea is that capillary action will draw the glue into the print lines, but any excess will drip off the print.
    Using wood glue will give a nice hard shell finish which can be keyed with 1500 grit sandpaper for painting if desired.

    Just a thought. Any comments?

  2. what if, instead of brushing the top coat on, you pour the top coat into a container then "bathe" the print. wouldn't that work the same way?

  3. You have to apply multiple layers. With multiple layers of varnish I've achieved that I almost cant see anymore the layer lines from the printing.

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