I’m looking to smooth out an acrylic engraving as much as possible. I’ve already defocused and flooding it with weldon improved things, but not as much as I’d like. Before I run out to get a toaster oven, will annealing work or would the raised clear areas slump as well?
Annealing is a process of slowly heating then cooling to remove internal stresses. If you mean just melting the whole thing to remove detail, I’m sure that will happen but I can’t imagine how reliable it would be. I’d think hitting the areas you are concerned about with a flame would be more predictable.
I’m not sure if there was ever a thread that reached a conclusion about flame polishing but it’s worth a look. I’ve never tried it myself.
You might be able to get good results chemically, very carefully applied weld on might smooth it out kind of like your* clear resin 3d printed deer?
This might be a good use case for extruded acrylic, it already engraves with less contrast in the first place.
If all else fails this might be a good candidate for resin casting. Use the gf to make a positive, cast a negative with silicone, then cast it in clear resin. If you only need one you could just make it with the elegoo clear method?
In any case I’ll be curious about how it turns out.
* at least I think that was your project?
Edit: doh you already weld-on’ed. Reading is hard.
I’d love to see examples and settings of this on PG acrylic. I’ve tested to the highest LPI and there is always an “artificial” banding (much lower than the actual LPI setting) introduced by what appears to be regular “modulation” of the beam.
How about floating a very thin coat of UV-cure resin into the engraved recesses? If the refractive indices of the two materials are very close, the interface could virtually disappear. I’ve got some, might try it.
Thanks for all the suggestions all. I was thinking of annealing becasue I know flame polishing the edges will smooth things out, but didn’t know if annealing would have the same effect to the body itself. (I actually used a flame to hit the one on the left and it didn’t do much to the body. You can see a little melted edge on the neck.) The contrast doesn’t matter becasue I’m just going to use them to make silicone molds from. Thanks for the idea and pics @cynd11 and @Jules! The resin looks the most promising and I’m going to have to look into it. For now I’m doing the last test with a different defocus height and I’ll see how smooth I can get it. The second try on the right is acceptable and I’ve decided to live with a little texture if need be. I did learn a bit about flooding with weldon though and it does a nice job clearing the engraving. Not sure when I’d use it, but good to know nonetheless.