Full Color Sandstone faded colors

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by akiefer, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. akiefer
    akiefer New Member
    Today I received my full color sandstone model. I was very eager to finally get this but unfortunately I am a bit disappointed by the colors. There's a lot of greenisch color where it should be more sand. And overall the colors are faded and don't show enough definition to read the model. It was a 3D print of a 3D reconstructed archeological site but it is hard to read the different area's (sand, brick, green grass) because all basically runs into each other.

    Is there anything I can do next time to get predictable colors? And how could I try and get the best out of my current print? After all it was still 200 Euro's so that's a bit expensive as a test shape to do several print runs with it...

    Here's a comparison between the printed model and a 3D render of the file. Note the much more distinct detail in the bricks and also more definition in the sand and rubble.


    The printed model was roughly 15cm x 15cm and the surface texture area for this particular crop was at least 1200 x 1200 pixels (I used the same texture for the uploaded model as the one in the render (the full image texture applied to that model, not just the particular area, was 8192 square pixels.

  2. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Hi akiefer,

    please contact our customer support team at service@shapeways.com - they can advise you on how to improve the colors. Also, if you're unhappy with the result we'll find a solution for you.

  3. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    FCS can be described as 90s inkjet printer quality, and with plain paper, not photo, so it needs tests and it will be far from a photo or magazine print. Before going big, try some test patterns (blatant plug: 3d color "cube") to evaluate the color reproduction and level of detail. For example print small areas of bricks, sand, cement; those that represent important things that repeat all over the rest of the surface.

    About faded, maybe the cyanoacrylate bath used to solidify the part caused some clouding, pretty possible with a bowl-like item. If that part is going to be trashed or the underside is not important, you can try applying gloss varnish to even the surface. Sometimes it solves the whitening problems caused by glues or a failed matt varnish. If you need it matt, apply another layer of matt over the gloss.
  4. akiefer
    akiefer New Member
    Hi Bart,

    Thanks for your reply...
    The support team is not sure on how to help me... But I may try and set up a simple planar test 'plate' with a mapped image to see how the detail will behave there.

  5. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I have noticed that there are a few FCS models of mountain ranges or similar geographical features
    in the shops (some "real", some game pieces for Settlers of Catan) - you could try contacting
    the designers for "proven" RGB color values for sand/rock/vegetation.
    Similarly there are some model houses available that could provide clues for brick, sandstone
    or lime colors (e.g. emmyceru's model of Brewster Station that was featured on the blog some
    time ago)
  6. akiefer
    akiefer New Member

    Thanks for your reply. I'll try and get in touch with some of the designers.

  7. akiefer
    akiefer New Member
    Hi Stannum,

    Thanks for your tips. I was hesitant to add a coat of varnish because I read that colors might fade away completely. The model is with the client now so that one is out of my hands.

    I will try and get some more extensive tests in workflow to get predicatble and cost effective solutions for this type of 3D...

  8. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    For tests, print something with curved shapes, not fully flat. Or make sure the flat item has textures in all faces, not just the big one. The curvature of a surface, and even inclination of flat surface against the build layers (a pyramid), gives different levels of detail all around. The color quick reference as well as other private tests demostrate the result varies for the vertical vs the horizontal surfaces, and top vs bottom. The maximum detail achieved (it has patterns on edges) was around 128DPI for best case, black on white, with other colors being worse as the system has to mix ink dots to produce the intermediate shades.