Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
New Contributor

Lay person legally vapor-smooth 3D-printed PLA?

Vapor-smoothing with acetone works some magic on 3D-printed ABS. ABS has fallen out of favor somewhat in the FDM 3D printing world because of the fumes, and because it's difficult to work with. It likes to warp as it grows in z unless the temperature is constant. 

Enter PLA. biosourced and biodegradable they say. So how to vapor-smooth? After a bit of research it seems there's not much in the way of legally-available options for a layperson. Although I have heard chloroform would do the trick, that is obviously not something they just hand out to lay folk as far as I know.

So anyway, today I learned that allegedly mixing bleach with rubbing alcohol makes chloroform and hydrochloric acid. 

My "ask a chemist" question:

Is that true, and, if so, what quantities of each would be advisable to try to achieve vapor smoothing at room temperature?

Obviously, this would be outdoors under a container of some sort so I could observe the results and not inhale any. 

Also, what would serve to neutralize this mix to make it harmless afterwards? Baking powder?  

Thanks for any help. This would be very interesting for the 3D printing world if it's that easy.

0 Kudos