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DIY Polishing Station for 3d-printed Parts

A DIY polishing station to smoothen 3d-printed parts built using Arduino and portable humidifier.

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Polymaker's Polysher combined with Polysmooth is a revolutionary product that produces smooth, injection molded-like finish to 3d-printed parts. Naturally, I wanted one.

However, since I missed the Kickstarter campaign, I didn't want to pay the higher ticket price plus I can't wait for May for pre-orders to get shipped so I decided to make one instead.

Having an Arduino kit lying around, I only needed to find a suitable humidifier/mister and container to build the polishing machine.

After, weeks of waiting for components, finalizing the Arduino sketch, and printing the parts, here's the result!

As I have several parts left over from previous projects and been sourcing out most of the parts from China, my total cost for this build was a little over $50. See Details section for the BOM.

DISCLAIMER
I cannot be held liable/responsible for whatever injury or damage that you incur as a result from making and/or improper use of this machine.

Link to the bill of materials

polishing station - optimal position of humidifier.png

Optimal position of humidifier cover in relation to the polishing platform. This ensures that mist coming from humidifier will easily reach the platform. Also, being in the front (rather than the back) makes the mist more visible while polishing.

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 36.64 kB - 04/08/2017 at 18:58

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2017-04-08 - bulbasaur.jpg

Bulbasaur model printed using PolySmooth (Snow White) with 1.6mm wall thickness, polished for 35 mins. using 70% ethyl alcohol.

JPEG Image - 6.37 MB - 04/09/2017 at 07:15

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2017-04-08 - charmander.jpg

Before and after polishing: Bulbasaur model printed using PolySmooth (Snow White) with 1.6mm wall thickness, polished for 45 mins. using 70% ethyl alcohol.

JPEG Image - 6.80 MB - 04/09/2017 at 08:03

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 648.62 kB - 04/06/2017 at 05:27

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 141.20 kB - 04/06/2017 at 05:27

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View all 27 files

  • 1 × 5V portable humidifier
  • 1 × Arduino Nano
  • 1 × 28YBJ-48 stepper motor and driver
  • 1 × 1602 display with I2C backpack
  • 1 × rotary encoder module

View all 16 components

  • Observations

    chiz04/07/2017 at 03:18 0 comments

      2017-04-08

      1. It appears that 35 mins. is the ideal polishing time when using 70% ethyl alcohol. This resulted to good overall surface polishing with no visible layers (except the underside of the model) while fine details are still very sharp. See polished Bulbasaur model for the result.

      2017-04-07

      1. After moving the humidifier to the front side closer to the polishing chamber, I observed that polishing has become more efficient. Using 70% ethyl alcohol for 45mins seems too much causing the part to be over polished (part in question -- Charmander in Polysmooth Snow White). Will try 30mins next time.
      2. Better polished finish is achieve if part is printed with thicker walls (I'm using Ultimaker Original with wall thickness setting set to 1.6mm). A thicker wall ensures that the infill isn't visible even after polishing the part.
      3. Alcohol, after polishing, seems to leave stains in the walls and floor of the polishing chamber. I wipe the alcohol residue every polishing session but not sure what will be the long-term effect to the Snapware container if if alcohol residue is left to dry without wiping after each polishing session.

        2017-04-06

        1. Due to the location of the humidifier, the mist is better seen from the back of the chamber. Humidifier should be placed in the front so the mist is more visible all throughout the polishing job.
        2. Among the chamber light colors, yellow seems to be the best light color that makes the mist most visible.

    • Needed Enhancements

      chiz04/07/2017 at 03:09 0 comments

      Must-haves:

      • Add preset times to software, e.g., 15mins, 30mins, 45mins, etc.
      • Add Pause feature. As of 2017-04-06, clicking the button stops the polishing and timer doesn't remember the time elapsed to polish
      • Add feature to turn on chamber light while in READY mode. Perhaps rotating counter-clockwise cycles through the different light colors. Rotating clockwise while in READY mode enables/disables the sound/beep.

      Nice-to-haves:

      • Have USB connector in power panel for routine software updates
      • Have a "catch basin" structure in the chamber floor to collect the alcohol residue so wiping the walls and floor of the polishing chamber after each session will no longer be needed.

    • Change Log

      chiz04/06/2017 at 07:51 0 comments

      2017-04-07

      • Moved the humidifier in front side of the chamber and closer to the polishing platform. More efficient polishing has been observed afterwards.

      2017-04-06

      • Added exploded view in Files section and suggested optimal positioning of humidifier cover in relation to the polishing platform

      2017-04-05

      • Project created
      • Uploaded STL files
      • Added link to BOM
      • Added link to the Github repo for the Arduino sketch (v1.0)

    View all 3 project logs

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    Discussions

    chiz wrote 04/06/2017 at 07:11 point

    @MakerStorage

    BOM posted. Please see Details section.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    chiz wrote 04/06/2017 at 07:07 point

    @MakerStorage

    Was about to post the BOM. Give me a minute :)

      Are you sure? yes | no

    MakerStorage wrote 04/06/2017 at 07:04 point

    Can you please share a link about your 5V portable humidifier?

      Are you sure? yes | no

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