Enameling (fused glass) 3D Metal

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by cadycarlsondesigns, May 18, 2016.

  1. cadycarlsondesigns
    cadycarlsondesigns Well-Known Member
    Has anyone had any luck enameling (fused glass, not paint or something of that nature) 3d printed metal? My initial instinct is that it might not hold very well.
  2. Shea_Design
    Shea_Design Well-Known Member
    The 3D printed metal we have access to here is quite porous, I would not be surprised if it soaked right into the part. Please try it and let us know how it goes. -S
  3. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Are you certain that the surface of the steel-bronze composite marketed as "steel" here is actually porous, rather than just rough ? Anyway, those shapeways materials that are cast from a printed wax master rather than sintered directly - brass, bronze, silver, platinum should have the same surface properties as "conventionally" made parts. For enameling, this guide looks useful (no experience or affiliation, just a google hit).
  4. cadycarlsondesigns
    cadycarlsondesigns Well-Known Member
    Thank you both very much! My biggest concern is the chemical composition of the materials, as they seem to tarnish quicker than traditionally created metals which I feel might negatively affect the enamel's ability to hold as it heats. I think I may have some extra pieces laying around to experiment on when I get some time and will report back :)
  5. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    Steel is the only "3d printed metal" available here. All other metals are castings made from 3D printed wax or plastic.

    I have experimented with fusing glass onto the steel, though not specifically with enamel techniques. Results haven't been great, which is kinda what I expected. There's a lot of copper in it, almost 40%, and neither copper specifically nor alloys in general are thought to enamel well. I didn't see consistent wetting, and at glass fusing temperatures the metal starts to break down: the copper leaches out and gets onto the glass surface. There may be something more to find there, but I wasn't encouraged enough to continue the direction. I can't speak to any other metals.

    mkroeker is right that the steel material is rough but not porous.
  6. Shea_Design
    Shea_Design Well-Known Member
    Correction; I should have said, very slightly porous with a density better than 95% (MPIF 42 test method). Detailed material data sheet here. Way beyond the simple specs SW provides. Metal powder industries federation test methods here.

    I also read somewhere (or had a strange dream) that the products are clear coated to reduce corrosion, so there could be some type of finish to burn (or acetone) off. Nice that Bathsheba was able to share her direct experience with enameling. -S
  7. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    OK, slightly porous. Anyway I did not see glass "soaking in".

    Yes, it's my understanding that the steel materials are lacquered, so you'd need to remove that first. I don't know what would be a good solvent for that; I got my test parts direct from Ex One to avoid the issue. I don't know whether Shapeways' brass, bronze etc. are also lacquered.
  8. cadycarlsondesigns
    cadycarlsondesigns Well-Known Member
    I can't thank you all enough!
  9. virginia_gordon
    virginia_gordon Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Hey Cady - DId you have a chance to enamel the brass? How did it turn out?