Polishing silver

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by TajTiger, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. TajTiger
    TajTiger New Member

    So lately I've been plagued with rejected models in an attempt to produce Silver (Glossy) pendants that are joined together with sprues to reduce the initial handling costs when buying three (or more) at a time.

    I've got it to the point where the model is printable, however the last hurdle seems to be the polishing part. I'm being told that the model cannot be cleaned/polished, and that I must order it in the Silver (Standard) finish if I want it printed that way.

    Since I'll be cutting the sprues myself, I'll be able to separate the pendants in, I'm assuming, will be in a polishable state.

    I'm debating on how to continue. I'm not a jeweler, but I may have some tools appropriate for the job. I'm wondering, does anyone know of any resources for polishing silver in the state given by Shapeways? Most of the search results I get for "polishing silver" give me tips on how to clean it, not polish it from a rough state.

    One other side question: Are you being told when making sprues that they have to be > 2.0 mm in diameter? Seems overkill for something no bigger than 25 mm in size.
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Ok, the sprues are for the silver to flow through. Small sprues won't allow a good flow of material when casting.

    For polishing, I used a dremel, like the $30 Walmart hand held battery type. It came with sanding tools, buffing tools and polishing material. It's just like wood, take down the big stuff with the sanding wheels, then buff out the tiny stuff. First time polishing took me a couple evenings to get a ring a nice shine. If I had to do it again would probably take an hour or so. I also took a polishing cloth, I think it came with my iPhone, or my tv, and sat and just polished it. I'm a little bit of a perfectionist :p.
  3. TajTiger
    TajTiger New Member
    Sounds like a start. I've got a variable-speed dremel, and I've got a rouge polishing cloth.

    Do you always buy your silver in the standard finish? I've only bought it with jewelry that would otherwise be impossible to polish (such as a wolf portrait with a lot of fine fur texture), but I'm wondering if I should just buy the standard finish from now on.
  4. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I've received one polished and one not. From now on if I feel I can polish it myself, that's the way I'm ordering. That way I know the level of polish I'll be receiving.
  5. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  6. SGDesigns
    SGDesigns New Member
    So your saying that if you were to get your wolf portrait tumbled to give it a polished shine, your portrait would loose detail? Can you post pictures of the polished and un-polished you ordered?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  7. TajTiger
    TajTiger New Member
    I was under the impression that the final polish to get it glossy wasn't done in a tumbler. Otherwise, why would they give me a rejection notice stating "cannot be polished" yet still be able to have it printed in the standard silver (and slightly polished) finish?

    I don't have a comparison between the two, but knowing how small and shallow the details are I have a pretty good idea that relief would be removed to some degree. That, and the crevices formed between the fur wouldn't be reached with the polish, so the end result wouldn't look much different.
  8. TajTiger
    TajTiger New Member

    Assuming that the surface of the jewelry is relatively flat, how much polishing would you guestimate was needed to get it to a state where you could buff it to the final shine?

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  9. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    The pieces I had made in silver over Christmas were definitely polished on a mop. You could see the 'drag' marks.