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Vibratory tumbling printed plastic parts


Oct 29, 2017
Has anyone tried tumbling printed plastic parts to get rid of the layer lines? Mainly PETG.

If not, would anyone be willing to try it out for me? I'm willing to invest in some simple machinery but would like a general idea on the results.

My parts are not very intricate. I'd say they are comparable to a plastic spatula in complexity.
I do a fair amount of tumbling: 3/4" (and down) plastic tetrahedrons in a 3cu ft Sweco (bowl type tumbler) for a pre-anodize finish. Not the most aggressive system, but it works.

Right off, I'd like to say I'm happy to throw in a part and see what happens, but.... the thought occurs to me that I don't know what will happen to the PETG. Was wondering if there were any possibility of it loading the stones or transferral to subsequent parts. Would kinda suck, part finish being of major appeal to the buyer, not to mention 3 cu ft of media costs a little bit.

Anyone have any sense of that?
Maybe try the stainless media ?

It can't load up.

OR, how about using the parts without any media, just rub against each other ?
Hmm. Interesting idea, though I'd think one would need some media just to get things to rotate. 'Spose if there were enough parts, it could work.
For ABS 3D printed parts acetone smoothing is reported to give decent results. Acetone won't work on PETG, but there are other solvents that should provide for similar results with it.