Thursday, October 1, 2015

makeup for 3D printed parts

yes, among the many things yours truly could do: 3D prints, 3D scans, CNC mill; but his lack in the department of aesthetics is severe. Same as everything pretty, makeup must be applied for aesthetics reasons.

If you recalled many full moons ago, yours truly  created a personal seal using only digital fabrication techniques.  The 3D printer of choice is still the ultimaker2, materials of choice is PLA, and 3D prints at 100micron layer height. 100 micron seems to be pushing the envelop for desktop based 3D printers. This choice of layer height and without makeup is good enough to ornate yours truly office. Assuming the 3D printed object need to be used to handle other materials with "fine" particles as the by product of the material, it falls short. The grooves between each layer of prints could possibly habours dirt, or worst, sickness inducing bacteria. Hence, there were some suggestions on the Internet on how to do post treatment to PLA 3D printed parts  aka makeup to achieve water tight, smooth finish, and the pinnacle of all post treatment/makeup: food safe grade, i.e food debris will not be caught in-between the layers and prohibits bacteria growth on 3D printed parts.

The suggestions for post treatment aka makeup for 3D printed parts. Some suggested to use food grade PLA, but the grooves between the layers are still a nuisance to human health, and boon to bacteria. Sandblasting on the 3D printed parts to get a smooth matt finish, doable, but access to machine might be prohibitive. Coating the 3D printed parts with food safe resin, definitely doable. your truly have not got the chance to do any of the above, yet.

So, the adventure begins at bangkok mini maker faire and yours truly chance upon "solution X aka solution 555" (5 in thai language rhymes with ha) for post treatment of 3D printed parts, by one of the makers presented there.

Saw the makeup demo on PLA 3D printed parts, and was quite intrigue at the speed of the post production of 3D printed parts; yours truly can't wait to get his paws on them. unfortunately, he is such as cheapo and bought the cheapest air ticket without check-in luggage. Of course you know the airport security is very tight and will not allow liquid > 100ml per bottle on board. tough luck. yours truly struck a deal with native partners, co sharing 400g and 500g bottles of "solution 555" into smaller bottles < 100ml . yours truly could not sleep, due to the fact of the access to 120ml worth of solution 555 makes him keep waking up at night. Yes, yours truly is an impulsive buyer, buying things that caught the cat's curiosity. He walked away with the last set of solution 555 kit available for sale on that rainy day, without means to bring it back to aiur.

Social capital plays a big part in how yours truly manage the issue of getting it back without paying extra for check-in luggage, nor breaking any laws. The rest was history.

the full kit: 500g of grey and 400g of white. yes, instructions is in thai language.

The first victim to be applied with solution 555 makeup. 3D printed lion head from a previous project: ultimaker2, 100micron layer height, PLA
closeup: sorry for the lousy picture quality. yours truly used a 2year old phone camera for this.
mix 3 part from grey bottle and 1 part from white bottle. gettin ready to makeup with the mixture.
can you tell which is with makeup and which is without makeup?
ooops... yours trully missed a spot.

conclusion: money well spent on "solution 555". after the first layer of makeup, the visible lines along the layers smoothed, it has a glossy look, and definitely would be better with more layers of makeup. The 3D printed part earned the permission to be relocated in the house from his missus.