Smoothing PLA Prints with a Convection Oven

Smoothing PLA Prints with a Convection Oven


Welcome to another episode of Tinkerine Experiments! Today, we’re going to try and use an oven
to smooth out our PLA prints. One of our subscribers, Element HTTP was curious
about putting PLA prints inside an oven and and here we are finding out whether or not we can use it and smooth out our PLA. I have a regular convection oven with me today
and this is completely new to me so I have no idea what to set the temperature at. We are trying to smooth out the PLA model
but actually at the same time we are also tampering it. We will preheat the oven to the temperature
and then put the metal tray in along with the PLA gem. We will also cool down the gem before we try
the next attempt. First, let’s try out 175 fahrenheit for
5 minutes. So far, visually it looks the same and it
still feels pretty solid. Next, we have 200 fahrenheit for 5 minutes. It feels completely the same as 175. Let’s increase it another 25 to 225 fahrenheit. Now we can actually see the PLA start to soften
here and it drooped on the left side. That being said, it is still not hot enough
to melt the surface of the gem to smooth it out. Next we have 250 fahrenheit and instead of
5 minutes we will increase to 8 minutes. But for some reason, there’s not a drastic change
at all. 275 fahrenheit, I don’t see the surface
melting at all despite the higher temperature and longer duration. The PLA print is definitely soft but I guess it’s
not hot enough to melt the outside layer of the PLA? Let’s go to 300 fahrenheit. Now the print is actually really hot when
I take it out and the PLA soften up quite
a bit but it’s not smoothing the surface out at all. Next we have 325 fahrenheit, we can see the left pillar
starts to droop down from the heat as it softens, but there’s still no surface melting at all. 350 fahrenheit for 8 minutes. The PLA is actually melting but it’s not the melting
that I wanted on it. Wait! No! My gem is actually just dissolving! Here are some failed attempts at 450 fahrenheit
for 5 minutes. I just completely dissolved my PLA print. Here’s the gem that we tested throughout
the experiments. As we can see the sides and the middle don’t
melt as fast, the bottom and top of the gem melted a lot quicker than the body as they are closer to the heating elements in the oven. Unless we can get the printer to heat evenly
on all sides, I don’t think it can smooth out the prints. Well, there we have it, we tried smoothing
prints out with a convection oven and we just couldn’t get it to work. The top and bottom of the print are always
heated up quicker than the sides and it also melts before the sides as well. That being said, if you do find a suitable
temperature and time to smooth out PLA, definitely let us know! That’s the end of our experiment today! If you liked our video please give a thumbs
up and if you did not then a thumbs down below. Remember to subscribe and comment on what
experiments you would like to see in the future. Thank you for watching. Tinker Out!

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