Electroplating Plastic?

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by Wizzard419, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Wizzard419
    Wizzard419 New Member
    Hi all, forgive me for double posting (I think the first one might have been in the wrong section)

    I was wondering if anyone has tried to get their printed model (in plastic) plated in anything? I know it's possible as a concept but not sure how well it works with the mediums used, or if it's impossible due to temperature thresholds.

    I have an idea for a display item and if I could save money by using plastic and then plating it that would be nice.
  2. ahncinema
    ahncinema New Member
  3. Wizzard419
    Wizzard419 New Member
    Thanks, is the cheapest plastic suitable for electroplating?

    How has the durability been? As much as it's going to be a display piece I don't want to have to worry about someone picking it up and accidentally cracking the metal off.
  4. ahncinema
    ahncinema New Member
    I believe that WSF is the cheapest plastic available through Shapeways, and that's what I got plated. I've talked to Sean, the guy that runs that particular plating company, and he told me that his process works on virtually every plastic.
    I can also tell you that you needn't worry about the plating cracking off. Unlike gold leaf or similarly fragile coatings, this is an actual coat of metal. I'm using my coated piece on film sets, so I'm positive that your display piece will have no trouble.
    At the moment, Sean doesn't have a wide variety of coatings. He's currently working on a matte black nickel coating, but I believe that's the extent of what he can do in-house. 3DDC in England can probably give you more choices in terms of color and finish.
  5. Wizzard419
    Wizzard419 New Member
    I'll have to check out the rates of a local place too, my end goal is a brass coating but it may need to start off as one of the plates that Sean uses, which may be more cost effective.

    My main concern was actually about the temperature of the acid bath since I was worried it would warp but your results have eased my mind quite a bit.
  6. erckgillis
    erckgillis New Member