Monday, August 29, 2016

Series: Colorizing 3D Prints #9 - Clearcoat is Doubtful

While I have not entirely given up on finding SOMETHING to coat a 3D object colorized with alcohol markers using the eBrush, things do look a bit bleak.  Everything I have tried so far has ended up reactivating the colors and making them run.

But, like most quests, trying to find a clear coat AFTER the painting has moved me farther along in the journey to learn more about the process of colorizing 3D prints.  Perhaps we are going about this in the wrong direction.  If, in fact, trying to add gloss at the tail END of the process is not working out, then perhaps, we need to focus on the FRONT end of the process.

So, now I turn my attention to preparation before painting... whether that be sanding or other smoothing techniques or finding THE best undercoat.

Based on one quick test, focusing on preparation looks a LOT more promising.  While any colorization has benefits, a combination of techniques might be even more beneficial and there is only one way to find out... testing. 

Of course, it will take some time to ascertain how the alcohol colors behave over time when applied to a primer or other undercoat, like glue or even fingernail polish.  We're off the trail here, so even the wildest of ideas is not out of bonds.  I have workhorse printers and plenty of filament so it might be fun to run down a few rabbit trails in search of our goal.  :)

The honor of the first complete test goes to Tamiya Fine Surface Primer.

Tamiya FINE primer
For this test, I have used a previously painted part.  The bulk of the color has first been removed using an alcohol pad.  And I have used a Dremel tool called a Flap Wheel to sand the piece to a smoother finish.

Dremel Flap Wheel
The flap wheel was chosen because it was thought to be less likely to gouge the 3D printed piece and it seems to have been helpful.  The Tamiya Fine Surface Primer was then applied.  Here is the result.

Primed Surface
The primer appears semi-translucent, with the residual color from the original paint visible under the primer.  The surface appears to be much smoother than before it had been sanded using the flap wheel.  It also has the slightly glossy look that I was hoping it would have.

It's been about 6 hours since the primer was applied.  But, I'll let it dry for 24 hours before applying the alcohol markers with the eBrush. I'll report the result in a new post.  But, it really look promising!

UPDATE #1 - Fingernail polish (No)

Add clear fingernail polish to the potential top coats that reactivate the alcohol colors causing smearing.  Life is tough.  :)

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