Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Series: Colorizing 3D Prints #11 - Top Coat Success!!!

Update:  I am seeing mixed results and I think it may have to do with how long an object has been drying or the use of a primer.  It's not bad; but, I see some smearing on the piece that was primed.  It could be that the primer does not absorb the dyes as completely as the ABS-R.  We'll keep testing and let you know.
It was absolutely necessary to find a clear top coat that would prevent the alcohol marker dyes from running and perhaps ruin some one's clothes, etc.  So, I have scoured the Internet for possible solutions. Little did I know that the solution was right in the little box that I carry with me when I take a 3D printer on the road.

I do want to thank the Krylon support team for going the extra mile in trying to help me find a suitable Krylon top coat directly over the alcohol markers.  Unfortunately, their experience was the same as mine even when using water-based varnish.

However, that does NOT mean that Krylon or any of the other top coats that I tested cannot be used AFTER a first coat of something else has been applied FIRST.

Remembering that all of our ZCorp Z450 full-color powder printer parts are finished by dipping them in a glue that most of us generically know as "Super Glue", I decided to try to coat a previously painted surfboard with some super glue I had in my workbox.

While I now believe that any "Super Glue" could be used, I tested Loctite's Super Glue Ultra Gel in the mini tube.  It was applied using a Q-tip.


I then waited for it to dry and applied a coat of Tamiya Clear Coat (TS-13) to see if the glue protected the alcohol colors underneath.


Here is the result.

Alcohol Colors Coated With Loctite Super Glue (Gel)
As you can see, the Q-Tip did pick up some residual surface color; but, not enough to cause any smearing whatsoever.  Both Spectrum Noir and Sharpie pens had been used for this colorizing test.  And, neither brand showed any signs of smearing.

While I think I could have stopped at the super glue coat, I decided to try spraying the piece with a top coat that had previously smeared the colors in earlier tests.

As you can see, the surfboard survived BOTH top coats.

I am VERY, VERY happy!

A lot of what I hope to do with 3D printing from a craft point of view comes under the general category of wearable art.  Had I not been able to find a way to prevent the colors from being activated by accident, such as a drink spill, that would ruin a person's clothing, it would have prevented me from using the colorizing methods that I'm enjoying so much and life would be a lot harder.

So, this is a big breakthrough in our colorization tests. A really big breakthrough!

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