Is it Gold or not?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by danilobuendia, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. danilobuendia
    danilobuendia Member
    I emailed support at Shapeways to find out if the gold plating is real gold or not, but I am confused on the answer I received:

    "Thank you for your email. Our Gold Plated is not real gold, this is a model which will be printed in Stainless Steel and after this the model will be put in a bath with Gold. Maybe we are going to introduce real Gold as a material in the nearby future, but this is not something I can tell you for sure. "

    So this is not real gold,but some sort of gold-tinted looking alloy? Can somebody tell us what it is?

    Isn't it the law disclose what the materials actually are comprised of and it should implicitly say if something IS Gold or NOT Gold? You can't say it's Gold if it's not Gold.
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Well-Known Member
    After reviewing, it appears I need to review more before answering you, I'll find out what the coating is and let you know.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  3. danilobuendia
    danilobuendia Member
    Thank you, Michael. That would be great.
  4. BillBedford
    BillBedford Member
    Gold plating is just what it say. Your stainless steel object is electroplated with a thin gold layer -- usually of the order of 10 microns thick.

  5. danilobuendia
    danilobuendia Member
    I received a response from Shapeways customer service. I asked 1 of 2 situations, and they answered:

    "2) The model is stainless steel with a coating that is a FAKE GOLD layer."

    So, my next question would be, what is this layer comprised of? As jewelers, my wife and I need to disclose what that is.
  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Well-Known Member
    We are still working through what it is. We have conflicting information to thumb through to figure out what are the facts, and will let you know asap.
  7. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member
    Hi Guys,

    Apologies for the confusion, I think this is just a case of lost in translation the difference between pure gold and solid gold.

    Your model is printed in steel, then it receives a pure 24 karat gold coating using an electrolytic process.

    So the coating is PURE gold, but the model is not SOLID gold all the way through.

    Danilo - as jewelers you can say with confidence that this is 24KT Gold Plated jewelry.


  8. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Could you please amend the specifications on the material hub accordingly ?

    BTW right now, the materials for which you name "jewelry" as a typical use case (and hence
    those that are most likely to be in contact with skin for more than a few seconds)
    have only a short notice covering machinability, while all plastics have complete MSDS.
  9. danilobuendia
    danilobuendia Member
    Thanks, Natalia!

    I'm hoping that is the final answer. We're really excited that we can offer pieces that are gold plated, but wanted to make sure we can tell the clients that it's real gold with some confidence.

    I can't wait to get our first order back!

    Heylani Jewelry
    Heylani Jewelry on Etsy
  10. IR
    IR Member
    So, this was asked in 2012, and still nothing more than a 'hope' that 24k gold is the final answer? Also, as posted above, the point of an MSDS is to have a complete description of all materials involved ... this is still not the case with any of the finish options for stainless steel beside the raw steel/bronze version.

    If, indeed it is 24k gold, please confirm.
    If not 24k gold, what is it?
    Peter3D likes this.
  11. aliciafelber
    aliciafelber Well-Known Member
    Hi IR, The description says : "Matte Gold Steel: Enrobed in 24k gold and slightly textured with visible print lines."
  12. IR
    IR Member
    It says that when you try to order a product, for instance but it doesn't say that on the actual material information page for when you are designing a product ... and since all the other options say specifically that they are 14k or 18k in the title of the material and there exists a thread like this which is unanswered by anyone from shapeways with any definitive answer, which includes both people saying that it is 24k and it is fake, and that when things are actually 24k it is usually proclaimed as a feature, whereas here and in the MSDS it is not.

    For any of the local plating shops, it usually costs more to plate in 24k than in 14k, for instance, so it is odd that for the material which is the strongest (steel) the weakest and most prone to wear gold would be used, when 14k and 18k versions are available for the brass substrate specifically because to offer different degrees of durability, and a 24k is specifically not available in brass, so it is additionally odd that the stainless steel base gets the most expensive and least durable plating option, without it actually being stated on the material information page.

    It would be great to get a reply from Shapeways itself, because the only replies which proport to be from SW itself are a retelling of a customer service agent saying 'fake' and someone saying 'I'll check and get back to you' (without then doing so).

    So Shapeways, please just make it clear, for the plating on the stainless steel, is it gold, is it 24k? or what is it?
  13. aliciafelber
    aliciafelber Well-Known Member
    Hi IR, I agree with you that Shapeways should be given a clear and detailed reply.
  14. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    A bit of context - shapeways does not do all the production themselves, so finishing options may vary not only with material but also with what is normally used by the respective production partner. (For "steel", it is known that their production partner is the manufacturer of the printer, ExOne - for the cast metals I believe the production partner has not been disclosed). And as we are talking about very thin platings, I believe the driving factor for the choice of gold alloy is simply color rather than durability (which will be rather poor for rings, but more than sufficient for trophies or other room decorations).
  15. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Well-Known Member
    I think the confusion lies in that Natalia was an employee at the time. So her statement is true and definitive.
    aliciafelber likes this.
  16. Frozenrain
    Frozenrain Well-Known Member
    I think it doesn't matter wether it’s gold or not.The thickness of the plated metal is only 10 microns! If it is pure gold.Does this part of gold worth $1:confused:?It‘s a tiny spot compare to the adjustment in the shipping price or others.
  17. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Well-Known Member
    It matters for value of a piece. It matters for allergies. It matters for what we tell customers, and what you tell your customers.
    aliciafelber likes this.
  18. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    So, any chance to get this information added to the materials page after all these years ? Same for the black and grey, so perhaps enough material for an entire paragraph dedicated to finishes. And while you are at it, you could stop calling the "Plain" steel finish "Stainless" as has been requested several times here.
    Malwen likes this.
  19. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Well-Known Member
    I'll certainly bring it up. I'm also not a fan of calling the finish "Stainless".
  20. I have read this entire tread lol I still don't know if its real or not somebody help me lol