Saturday, August 27, 2016

Series: Colorizing 3D Prints #8 - Alcohol Marker Airbrush is Very Forgiving

I'm back again with the same surfboard that we had painted, ruined, repainted and ruined again trying hairspray as an overcoat.

The hairspray, unfortunately, was also alcohol based.  So, like Edison did so many times before he discovered the lightbulb, I have another failure under my belt so you won't have to even go there.  Forget Krylon Fixtif and forget Sebastian hairspray.

The good news is that using alcohol based markers, applied using the eBrush air brush, is a remarkably forgiving process when used on 3D printed plastics.  This time, I dropped the surfboard into a bowl of alcohol in an inexpensive Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner and was able to get rid of the most recent smearing caused by the hairspray.

It was interesting to learn that the original dye WAS permanent, if slightly washed out.  This tells me that the longer the marker colors sit on the surface of the 3D printed part, the deeper the dye is absorbed.

Once mostly cleaned, as apposed to absolutely cleaned, the result was a surface that could easily be repainted with new patterns.  Here is the result.  Again, the part is small and the contours make it a bit difficult for my inexperienced hands to apply masking with anything close to perfection. 

3rd Paint Application
This actually was a better result than my first attempt to fix the smearing from the Fixatif disaster.  What is really remarkable is that the red color, overall, is a lot smoother.  I don't know if this is due to the fact that some of the red dye had been absorbed uniformly or maybe I'm getting the hang of using the eBrush a bit better.

I do know that I'm not only getting more comfortable using the eBrush; but, genuinely loving it.  It is really satisfying to see a monochrome 3D print become something truly noticeable as color is applied.   This is downright fun!

And, the fact that it turns out to be so forgiving is icing on the cake.

But, painting isn't the only way to use 3D printing for craft projects.  I've had some great success at creating my own stencils and embossing folders!  More to come... MUCH MORE!!! 

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