Some people say work smart, not hard. But, I am incredibly lazy, so I don’t want to work at all.
The 3D printing community is working way to hard on designing complex parts. They are really good parts, but they take work to produce. I want to help you guys out with a bit of insight from organic chemistry, so designers can put their skills to really good use streamlining their parts.
4 of Concepts with Chemistry to Help the 3D printing community
Warning: (generally) Do not mix ketones + alcohols = Boom
1st Concept: No hot bed necessary
ABS cement can be used as a replacement for a heated build plate.
Just smear it on a a flat surface, until it streaks, less is more.
If you can’t see through it, it is excessively thick (harder to remove).
2nd Concept: Make your own ABS Cement
Any color of ABS plastic can be solvated (dissolved) in:
-Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)- 2-Butanone (slower)
This means you can recycle your scraps by dissolving them, and make custom colored ABS Cement.
By changing the ratio of ABS to solvent, you can adjust the viscosity of ABS cement.
3rd Concept: Design parts to be bonded together
Many of the parts designed by the 3D printing community bolt together. The initial designs key up well, but the obsession with the hex nut recess is unnecessary.
-ABS cement to bond parts together chemically, and get a structural part with no bolts.
-ABS parts built sparse can be filled with ABS cement, and then drilled out, sized up, tapped, or repaired.
4th Concept: Surface finish
A mild coating of acetone or Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) can bring printed printed parts to a high gloss finish, and can reduce/eliminate print layer ridges.
The Technical Stuff
ABS plastic consists of three major components (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). Solvents that have a similar organic structure can help break down, the components of the plastic.
This is solvated easily by Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) Industrial Name
2-Butanone IUPAC Name
These chemical names are one and the same, but Industry and science have different naming conventions. It is just like the inches vs millimeters problem. Regardless, 2-Butanone = MEK and is a cousin of the Butadiene linkage that holds the ABS polymer together. Acetone acts as a polar protic solvent that can generally solvate a wide variety of polymers. Both of these solvents can make a dilute ABS solution that can use the intermolecular forces to bond the plastic polymer to the glass. Intermolecular forces are what geckos use to run on glass, teflon, or any surface. Bonding with enough surface area on a molecular level allows the two objects to acts as one. This is how the solvated ABS prevents delamination without a hotbed, but by the same mechanism of intermolecular bonding.
More can be found here: Polymer Guide