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Vapor smoothing now available for 3D printed parts

Select vapor smoothing as an optional post-process on the Protolabs Network platform.

Now you can finish your MJF and SLS 3D printed parts with vapor smoothing – a technique that uses a vaporized solvent to reduce surface roughness. It gives parts a glossy finish and improves their moisture-resistance. Simply select the vapor smoothing option as you’re building your instant, online quote

An ideal finish for MJF and SLS parts

The 3D printing process can leave parts with an uneven surface area, which techniques such as vapor smoothing can improve. Vapor smoothing reduces visual imperfections and also gives parts greater resistance to liquids they might come in contact with in certain applications. It is available for MJF and SLS parts using PA 12. 

How vapor smoothing works

Vapor smoothing involves liquifying and redistributing the outer layer of a part using a vaporized solvent. The parts are cleaned, placed in a sealed container where they’re exposed to the vapor, and then cooled leaving a glossy finish. Note that the process is better suited to parts without too many intricate geometric features. 

Learn more about vapor smoothing including the steps of the process, how finished parts look and frequently asked questions. 

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