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Tutorial: Metal Powder Coating of 3D Printed plastic designs – by Dizingof
*** UPDATE: I’ve been working on an innovative prototype that can – grow a very strong, smooth Metal Skin on 3D printed plastic models – Follow my research on Twitter: click here – #HomeElectroForming – (ElectroPlating/ElectroForming)
@Dizingof: “SUCCESS! Weeks of testing. Bronze-Coat any #3Dprinted design with Bronze Powder mixed with Glue @ 2:1”
After Weeks of testing different Metal powders mixed with different types of resins i decided to test something that was right in front of me.. a simple carpenter Glue.. aka “Elmer’s glue” or “White Glue”..
I was able to coat any 3D printed plastic (PLA/ABS) design with a heavy coat of Metal that truly looks & feels like the real thing.
For decorative purposes it was perfect.
It proved to be a strong, non-brittle coat that shines like real Metal.. enough to rival Metal filaments & cold metal casting.
Chief Editor of 3DPrintingIndustry.com – Rachel Park, a 3D printing evangelist – who has been following the 3D printing industry for more than 20 years – published my Open-Source Tutorial.
You can read her article here:
Go Bronze with 3D Printing — Dizingof Shows You How
This Open-Source Tutorial can be used with a variety of Metal Powders like: Copper, Bronze, Aluminum, Brass, Tin and even Marble found on the web & eBay.
Here is my simple Updated Tutorial:
1. Clean your plastic model with Soap and tap water.
Let it dry. (It is very important to remove any dirt & grease)
Spray a Primer paint (found on any local cars stores or at Home Depot) for a better adhesion of the Metal mixture.
Let it dry.
Mix 2 parts of Metal powder with 1 part, water-resistant, white Glue by volume.
Mix thoroughly for at least 5 minutes – for a good powder spread and consistency.
2. Use a simple Artists thin-brush to coat your model with the Metal-Glue mixture, making sure you don’t leave out any cracks & crevices.
Put it in front of a hot air blower (faster dry time.. in few minutes) now apply a second coat.
Allow to dry again.
3. Grab a 0000 Steel Wool – Wear gloves & a nose mask.
Start burnishing your model with simple swipes from side to side until you begin to see a nice Metallic shine – Continue till you’re satisfied with the results.
Another faster, less labor, method suggested by Maker: Luke Turner is to use a Dremel with a Bronze polish-wheel as you can see on his photo. (The power of Open-Source!)
4. You can leave the result as is and spray-coat it with a Lacquer to seal the Metal shine and prevent oxidization – or you can brush it with small amount of green/black Patina (ex: a Shoe shine paste) to define the recessed areas of your model.
* User 3DWP on thingiverse.com posted his results:
“I stumbled upon a great post by Dizingof that saved me some time, he found that carpenters glue and metal powder works great as metal coating! So I mixed some bronze with waterproof wood glue, painted the model a few times and used a patina to age it. It really -really- looks like bronze after some buffing with 0000 steel wool, amazing!”