Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Series: Colorizing 3D Prints #10 - Primer Success!

This is the image from the last post showing the starting place for today's result.  The previously painted surfboard (printed on an M3D Micro in ABS-R) had been cleaned using an alcohol pad, sanded a bit using a Dremel Flap Wheel sanding tool and coated with Tamiya Fine Surface Primer. 

Primed Surfboard

It was left overnight to dry and then painted with Spectrum Noir and Sharpie alcohol markers using the Craftwell eBrush.  Here is the result.

There is no overcoat.  Yet, there is a sheen to the finish that gives it quite a nice look!  I'm VERY pleased.

Three different pens were used for the red.  They were DR2, DR4 and DR5.  In the Spectrum Noir color system the "DR" indicates the basic color "Dark Red" and the numbers from 1 to 7 indicate lightest to darkest shades of the basic color.   This makes shading and blending incredibly easy!

Spectrum Noir Color System

The entire surfboard was coated with DR2, the lightest I have, and then rimmed first with the slightly darker DR4 and finally with the DR5.  Blending with the eBrush is just a matter of practice.

Due to the poor lighting it's difficult to see the transitions; but, they are there and being able to closely blend colors is a distinct value.  Again, I am VERY pleased.  I have been shooting for this exact result!  Even the masking is better!

So, we are on the right track.  Colorizing 3D prints is not only possible; but, highly successful when using the eBrush airbrush system with alcohol markers.  While it definitely works directly on the print, using a primer has a very positive affect on the outcome.

Even so, I will continue to try to find an overcoat that will not smear the alcohol inks.  It may be that canned sprays cannot be used due to the propellants used.  But, there is a siphon adapter kit for the Craftwell airbrush which expands the overcoat possibilities.

eBrush Observations

I have been extremely pleased with how quickly I was able to gain experience with using the eBrush.  The secret seems to be to move at the elbow rather than the wrist.  And, to move from off of the object onto the object.  Over spray has not been a problem.  For the surfboard, it was confined to about 1-1/2" inches around the object.  So, I have felt very comfortable just painting against an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper.

The best part is that you just pick it up, install a marker and start painting.  There is the option to use the siphon adapter kit, which is the next step in the learning curve, it is not necessary for basic colorizing.  I can't imagine an easier system to use for this application.  I love it!

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