How to Gloss Your ABS Printed Object




This Instructable will show you how to take your boring, 3D printed object, into a fabulous piece of artwork that you can display on your project, shelf, or even coffee table!

What you will need:

3D printed object


Metal container (NOT PLASTIC)

Cloth or paper towel


Step 1: Printing Your Object

Start off by printing any object you would like. This product was printed out of the Cube. The Cube is one of many 3D printers that you can choose from. It doesn't matter what printer you use, as long as you are absolutely positive that your printed object is ABS filament. In this case I printed a pumpkin for a fun fall feeling, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner, feel free to print a turkey. PLA is another filament that could be used to print, but that can not be shined with Acetone this way. We are using acetone vapor to leave a shiny finish on our pumpkin, if it was PLA we would need to use much more acetone because it would have to be dipped in it. That way is more expensive and potentially dangerous if there are any matches around.

Step 2: Lining Your Can

This step requires you to have your metal can, paper towel and/or cloth. You must line the metal can with cloth and paper towels and use the magnets to make them stay there. You must make sure there are no loose ends that will be able to touch your object when you flip the can onto the object. If the paper towel or cloth were to touch your object, that would cause the ABS to melt because the vapor is what is shining your object, NOT the liquid acetone.

Step 3: Pouring the Acetone

For this step all you need to do is pour the acetone into the can. The acetone will be soaked up into the cloth or paper towel. With that, I used two-three fluid ounces of acetone. Depending on the size of your project, you should probably use more or less. After you poured it, turn the can on its side and roll it to soak as much of the cloth or paper towel as possible. Doing this creates just enough vapor to make your object shine. If you pour too much acetone into that can, that's okay! Just pour out the excessive liquid before doing the next step.

Step 4: Making the Magic Happen

After you had poured the acetone into the can, you can now complete the last step. All you have to do is cover you object with your can. MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT TOUCH THE SIDES. Leave your object underneath the can for about an hour. If you leave it there for longer that is okay! The vapor will eventually evaporate and nothing else will happen after it is completely shined. After your hour long wait and you carefully remove the can, please don't touch your object for about 20 minutes, so you can allow the ABS to absorb acetone. If you do touch it before then, you could potentially leave finger prints.


If you follow all of these steps your ABS object should come out looking as fabulous as this pumpkin has.

Happy building!



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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Hey mack, why you wearing nail carnish ;)

    1 reply