How to Post Process Silver 3D Prints

So you have your beautifully polished silver 3D print back from Shapeways and your retinas are now burnt from the gleaming shine, want to know how to to the gloss down a notch or ten? Boiled Eggs.

Mark Cheng has given his Duality Ring the boiled egg in a ziplock bag treatment to give his intricate design a little more pop in Silver (below left).  He also tried a short bath of aluminum foil/baking soda/salt/hot water (below right).

What post processes have you used to make your silver prints shine (less). 


  1. Peter Zich

    As I’m currently in a metalworking class I’d recommend picking up some Liver of Sulfur, putting it in hot but not bubbling water (low heat). It will slowly darken until it’s completely black. You can then use a rag or shammy to lighten parts of it while leaving the deep grooves black.

    1. Duann

      Thanks Peter.

      Where would you get Liver of Sulfur?

  2. unellenu

    1. Sterling silver can be darkened by placing it in household bleach (doesn’t always come out as black as with liver of sulfur though), or you could just heat the piece up with a jewellers torch and get the surface to to oxidise.

    2. To take the shine back a bit on a highly polished piece you can give the model a bit of a rub with a Scotchbrite.

    3. Or you could satin finish the accessable parts of it by using emery paper.

    4. If you’ve got access to a sandblasting machine this can also achieve a matte finish.

    5. Using jeweller’s drills and diamond drills, the surface can be textured in various ways

    :) Janelle

    Visit me on twitter: unellenu

    1. Duann

      Oh, nice ones Janelle,

      I would love to see a combination of Matt and High polish finish…

    2. unellenu

      Looks good!
      I agree sometimes household bleach can get some unexpected results…brownish, reddish etc
      I used some ‘White King’ bleach yesterday and got quite a nice dark grey colour on one of my Shapeways models I’ll upload photos soon.


  3. Shapeways Blog

    Michael Mueller has used another post production technique on his silver 3D prints to give them a little more character. See the before and after below. If you want to try this for your own … if you need some hints… … There are also a

Comments are closed.