Three Methods to Color 3D Models



It is inevitably needed to color the 3D printed models for work or a better look. Let’s take a few minutes to learn about how to color models.

Prepare & Print a Model

Proper settings for the print would help improve the painting quality. Settings, printing orientations and the number of supports should all be considered.

Remove the Supports & Raw Materials

After removing the model from the building plate, you need to take away all the base plate and support materials with pointed-nose pliers or flat-blade cutters.

Sanding, Gluing & Filling

For higher-quality painted surfaces, the next step is to sand your model. We recommend you wear goggles, gloves and a mask. The necessary materials include sanding block, electric sander, grit sandpaper, and cyanoacrylate adhesive.

Three Methods to Color the Models

1. All-handmade

Hand drawing is creative and of low cost. If you want the surface to be good-looking, you need to apply a light-colored primer (light gray or white), and then add primary colors to avoid disproportionate or reverse color conditions. A fresh color should be painted at the perpendicular right angle when the first layer is dry. As most of the dyes used are oil-based, hand-painted colors have a slightly higher gloss than dip-dyeing, spray paint, electroplating and Nano spraying.

2. Spray Paint

Spray paint is one of the key coloring technologies of 3D printing, which has a wide range of applications due to its high adhesion and moderate cost. Despite the interference of the original mirror surface, the gloss of the model is only lower than that of electroplating and Nano spraying.  

Influenced by the coating process and dryness, multi-coating is difficult. Before being sprayed, the details need to be dried and fine-tuned in 3-4 hours. Since the model effect will be influenced by various elements such as manual proficiency, the degree of secondary coloring and the connection of the spraying points, so good technics are needed. The smoother the model surface, the better the painting effect.  

3. Dip-dyeing

Dip-dyeing, another method to color 3D models, is only available for nylon materials. In terms of color diversity, the solid color dyeing is more gray and monochromatic. Compared with the other two methods, its gloss level is the lowest.

Though limited by the materials and color, the production time is relatively short and the coloring can be completed within 30 minutes. The cost of dip-dyeing is higher than all-handmade and spray paint, and the coloring result is just of general effect.

Three Methods to Color 3D Models
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