Ombré Dyed 3D Printed Jewelry




Introduction: Ombré Dyed 3D Printed Jewelry

About: Smith|Allen is a design firm based in Oakland California. Our work is interdisciplinary in focus bringing design, innovation, and novel concepts to bear on a wide range of projects. Smith|Allen brings togeth…

Continuing from my 3D printed jewelry instructable, I've been looking for ways to post-process resin 3D prints and jewelry pieces. After failed experiments with Acrylic to Mixol and trying to dye PLA prints from our everyday printer the Type A Machines Series 1 nothing was adhering in quite the right way, either giving a dull finish or pooling within my faceted surfaces.

Seeing the results from fellow AiR Wei Wei, the idea of hand dyeing seemed like a perfect fit: a pop of (vivid) color and a hand-made aesthetic. Collaborating on this project, we opted to try an ombré effect, which graduates tonal intensity and has been strong on runways (and hairstyles) in 2014.

We're super excited about the potential for dyeing and 3D printing, and hope you find this as inspiring as we do! Give it a try, it's relatively easy and really makes your 3D prints unique.

Step 1: What You Need

Jig Materials

  • Wire or fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Popsicle sticks

Dyeing Materials

  • 3d printed necklaces / Objet printed resin pieces in VeroClear or VeroWhite
  • 2 small pots (one designated for dyeing, one for hot water reserves)
  • iDye Poly
  • Stovetop (or water heater)
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Additional pot or bin for soaking dyed prints

Step 2: Prepare for Dyeing

1. Make a jig

  • Take your 3D printed piece and string jewelry wire or fishing line through the pre-made holes. Loop through to form a jig so you can control the dyeing process.

2. Heat your water

  • Measure out 2 cups of the hot water and put into a small pot.
  • You want the water to get to a temperature of around 212 degrees F, or 100 C. It will be at a nice boil. Then, turn off the heat.
  • Add 2 cups of water to another pot and keep on the burner.

Step 3: Dip Dyeing

1. Take your hot water off the stove and onto a hot pad.

2. Mix your dye into the pot. We didn't measure it exactly, since the color intensity depends on the amount of dye you put in.

  • We eyeballed a deep blue color, and left it at that.

3. Time your dye intervals to get a consistent gradient.

  • Since we were going for the ombré look, we knew we wanted the most concentrated color at the bottom of the curved design.
  • Using the jig, we propped the bottom of the necklaces vertically in the pot. We let our necklaces sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Then, we added more hot water into the pot, and angled the necklace from 90 degrees verticality to about 75 degrees. Since we didn't increase the dye amount, it lead to a stepped gradient of the blue. Let sit for 25-30 minutes.
  • Repeat. With each iteration, lessen the vertical degree by about 15 degrees each time, letting each section sit for 25-30 minutes. This prevents the ombre from looking to "stepped" (as in a stark change from dark to light).

Step 4: Soak Your Dyed Print

1. Once you are happy with the gradations, remove it from the pot.

2. Let your print soak in water.

  • This will soak out any residual dye that did not get fully absorbed. This way, you don't end up with dye on your shirt or skin.
  • Soak for a minimum of an hour, but we recommend about 12 hours.

Step 5: Try for Two-toned Gradations!

Now that you're a pro ombré-dyer, try out a two tone gradation!

1. Pick one color to start with and again start with the bottom of the piece. Follow Step 3, but only get your color gradation going halfway up the necklace.

2. In another pot, reheat the additional color dye. Starting from the ends of the necklace, place them vertically in the new color. Repeat Step 3 until the second color meets the first!

  • TIP: It also looks great to leave a tiny bit of white between the two, rather than have them meet. It's up to you!

3. Let your print again soak in water for at least an hour.

Step 6: Admire Your Work!

1. Now that you've been dipping and dyeing, you have something unique and beautiful: show it off!

2. Follow steps from my original instructable to fasten the necklace.

3. Send us your photos! We'd love to see your work.

  • Use the hashtag #ombre3dprint to show us your own spin!

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this looks beautiful! I will have to try this out sometime!

    Fission Chips

    Cool! This looks great, and I really like the color of the necklace in the first photo, because it's a cool dark blue. Great job!