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4.9

VAPOUR SMOOOTHING

Shaping the future of plastic - transform the beauty and mechanical properties of your parts. This innovative technology opens a world of new application opportunities in industries such as medical, automotive, food & beverage and consumer goods.

What is Vapour Smoothing?

This non-line-of-sight approach creates parts with a smooth surface, exposing the part to a solvent vapour. Improving mechanical performance, sealed and sterilizable surfaces.

During the process, an FDA-compliant compound selectively melts the surface, creating a smoother, sealed surface. 

BENEFITS

FDA COMPLIANT

Our FDM compliant solvent is pre-approved for food-contact applications

IMPROVED STRENGTH

Increased elongation at break, impact resistance and fatigue strength

ENCHANCES AESTHETICS

Uniform finish across all parts, elevating the visual and tactile quality of parts 

SKIN CONTACT

Biocompatible process, parts are compatible for skin-contact applications

SEALED SURFACE

Airtight and watertight parts, opening opportunities for diverse applications

In certain studies, chemical vapor smoothing enhanced material surfaces by 800%-1000%. It is important to note that this process re-distributes surface material to create a sealed, smooth finish but does not produce a polished surface. Some visible surface topology and minimal layer lines will still remain.

Chemical vapor smoothing can greatly enhance the viability of 3D prints for use in food processing, medical devices, and consumer products, making it a recommended process for end-use applications in these industries. Notably, vapor-smoothed Nylon PA12 3D prints significantly reduce bacterial attachment and growth compared to standard Nylon PA12 prints. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that parts produced using SLS and steam smoothing both meet and pass safety and biocompatibility tests.

Don't have a 3D file?

Contact our expert team today to enquire about the 3D design & 3D scanning services we offer at our professional 3D printing service

SLS Nylon PA 12 3D Printing Service

Advantages

Uniform Surface

Uniform & consentient, sealed surface on 3D printed parts

✅ Improved Mechanical Properties

Improved tensile, elongation and flexural modulus

✅ No Extra Coatings & Materials

No extra coatings; the surface is the part’s base material

✅ Significantly reduced moisture absorption

Percentage weight gain over 24-hours <0.1%

✅ Retains features and dimensional accuracy

Unlike mechanical processes, our controlled chemical process uniformly smooths the process

✅ No residual chemicals or media in features

FDA-compliant and eco-friendly solvent is fully removed during our industry-approved process

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Drawbacks

👎Increased Lead Time:

Requires an additional day in the production process, extending overall lead times

👎Additional Costs:

Extra charges are incurred, adding to the cost of the final product

👎Geometric Limitations:

Not suitable for all part geometries. Adherence to the design guidelines is necessary

👎Size Constraints:

The process has limitations on the size of parts that can be effectively smoothed

👎Detail and Texture Reduction:

The process can result in a loss of fine surface details and textures, affecting the intricacy of the part’s appearance

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