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Painting 3D prints Answered

Those of you who may have had the occasion to paint a 3D print I'm curious what products and techniques you may have used. I've used one of the Customizer Things to make some name tags and I'd like to paint the raised letters to help them stand out.

Any suggestions or methods that work on ABS?




4 years ago

I'm not sure how well dying would work for what I have in mind. Unless the dye is thick it would be hard to keep in one place. I've picked up a couple different acrylic paints and when things slow down a bit I'm going to see what I can do with them. So far I've tried a paint marker on a couple of pieces and it seems durable enough. This is HamVention week here in Dayton and my work for it starts tomorrow and will run through Monday. It'll be a day or three before I find time and energy to do much else. Thanks for the tips, Curt

i think if you're dying raised letters you'd probably need to create some form of dye tray that would hold the tag's base a specific distance from the bottom of the tray, then fill the tray to a level that would immerse the portion of the tag that you're wanting to dye. this of course assumes you want all the letters the same color and not a different color in the recessed area...though, there are ways to do that too depending on the design of the name tag and what equipment you've got on hand

i've used nail polish on several of my 3d prints, and/or model paint.....not terribly great performance every time...you have to REALLY let it dry. the biggest thing I've found was to go back with some kind of sealer like an acrylic or similarly hard clear coat to kind of hold all the paint down.

as caitlinsdad suggested, the preferred method is dying them. not sure what kind of dye you'd use though.


4 years ago

I haven't painted ABS, but I assume it would be similar to painting PLA which I have done successfully with acrylic paint.

Shapeways also has a great page describing their suggested painting methods


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I've seen an article somewhere that the 3D printing service bureaus prefer to use dye methods. Plastics are always hard to paint over.