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  1. #1
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    Precious Metal Deposition: on the Concept of Budget/DIY Methods for 3D Printing

    Good Morning Friends, My Name is Marvin, I am not new to the Consept of Metalizing none-conductive objects, I will be assembling my own 3D Printer during the next year(DLP), I am very excited to join this new revolution, I am usually very thorough when I am about to embark on a new field, but so far I have yet to find a user friendly System(DIY or COTS) of Metal Deposition(Copper, Silver, Gold,) for High Resolution 3D printed objects, I believe this combo of High Resolution 3D printers and Low Cost/DIY Metalizing will have an big impact on this field(Rapid Prototyping).

    I have a few ideas on how to go about doing such sytem and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject,

    3D Printed prototypes can be Coated with Matals by the following methods, PVD/CVD(Physical Vapor Deposition and Chemical Vapor Deposition) Electroplating(Electrochemical deposition) Electroless Plating(auto-catalytic plating)

  2. #2
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    There are companies doing this already

    But it's not cheap or easy. You need to coat the surface with a conductive lacquer first, then wire up each piece and plate first with copper, then with nickel, then with gold or chrome. Here's a place to get a small-scale plating setup: http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/index.html Be careful about how you dispose of chemically-tainted wastewater.

    Since you're building a DLP printer, why not just use a resin that can burn out cleanly, and employ the lost-wax (or in this case, lost resin) method to turn your patterns into solid metal parts, which will be much more durable than plastic parts with metal plating?

    Andrew Werby
    www.computersculpture.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Werby View Post
    But it's not cheap or easy. You need to coat the surface with a conductive lacquer first, then wire up each piece and plate first with copper, then with nickel, then with gold or chrome. Here's a place to get a small-scale plating setup: http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/index.html Be careful about how you dispose of chemically-tainted wastewater.

    Since you're building a DLP printer, why not just use a resin that can burn out cleanly, and employ the lost-wax (or in this case, lost resin) method to turn your patterns into solid metal parts, which will be much more durable than plastic parts with metal plating?

    Andrew Werby
    www.computersculpture.com
    Thanks, I appreciate your comments, I am leaning Towards ABS FDM printing, they way I coat metals is rather cheap, and I just found a way to coat them with gold rather cheap too,


    this is my plan..

    Print the ABS 3D prints,
    Smooth them with Acetone Treatment to give them a glass like surface
    Chemically Activate the surface with sensitizers(Stanous chloride) instead of using conductive ink because the process will electroless plating(combination of Autocatalytic, Immersion)
    Silver Coat the piece with simple Tollens Reagent reaction(some what modified for the process)
    from this point we can either add a galvanic copper(modified reduction plating) coat that will have a mirror like shine due to the silver mirror behind it.. or insted of copper we can immerse gold plate the silvered piece with a inexpensive home jewel kit.. all of this electroless as to make it as simple as possible

    so we end up with a Silver, Copper or Gold Plated 3D prints on a low budget, remember this process falls under the "Decorative Plating Finish" process like PVD coating, and as the PVD/CVD Process we can add more durability by adding a protective top coat..


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