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Monday, October 8, 2012

3D Printing Tip - Painting your prints

So before I could buy a rainbow of filament I was experimenting with tinting the natural filament with less than impressive results. Using acrylic paints and a sealant yields acceptable results, but I think I've found something better. Nail polish.
I had my wife pick up some cheap (and ugly) nail polish so I could empty them out and use the bottle for ABS glue. Then I thought to try the nail polish out on something in my discard pile and the result was quite impressive. It goes on solid, stays well, no hint of the color below it. I don't know how it is in the long term but the color is clear and it allows the details of the print to show through.

The down side? I think the stink burned through the brain cells I stored my 1st grade writing lessons in. That's okay, no one uses cursive any more.


  1. I've found it's a decent alternative to more expensive paints. The trick to making it last longer is to spray on some lacquer to seal it completely. Can get it in matte or glossy and a huge $6 can will probably go a long way with the small forms you're printing.

  2. Update on this one. I put a Guy Fawkes mask painted in blue in my pocket to see how much wear it can handle. And I forgot about it, it went through the wash, and came out... completely unharmed. Nail polish. The best paint for ABS. Who knew?

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