WSF as a simulation of porcelain

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by SteveHunter, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. SteveHunter
    SteveHunter New Member
    Greetings, I have a WSF vessel which I just received (I'm new here, It's my first print.) I am struck by how much the raw surface and translucency are like porcelain. The texture is just a little rougher. I haven't scrubbed or sanded at all yet. My original plan was to go for a smooth white plastic look but I think simulating ceramic would be better if I can pull it off.

    So here's my thought: give it a good dip in polyurethane and let it drain off just as if it were getting a coat of clear ceramic glaze. Or would brushing be the best, i'd really like to saturate the piece to maximize the translucent effect.

    I'd like to avoid sanding so the texture and the translucency come through visually, but would want the final surface to be smooth. If the poly isn't viscous enough and the coating doesn't fill the texture I suppose one could just add another dip or two. Would sanding between coats be needed?

    Does anyone have experience with polyurethane and WSF as a coating. I did see a thread here where folks were giving more mass to their hollow pieces by filling them with resin so I assume it doesn't eat the WSF up.

  2. SteveHunter
    SteveHunter New Member
    I just added a couple of images in the It's Arrived forum. You can see the translucency compared to porcelain and milk glass there.

    Message title: My first print, a salt cellar
  3. crsdfr
    crsdfr New Member
    I don't have any experiences with polyurethanes, but I do have about 4 years experience coating SLS with various UV Curing resins.

    Just so I've got this right, you'd like to add a smooth, transluscent coating "over" the part, to maintain the granular aesthetic, but be smooth to the touch, and hopefully maintain the parts overall light diffusion properties?

    Its possible, but I haven't found the resin that will do it to your exact specs. I think you'll find this will be a two stage process. One initial coat in a highly viscous clear curing resin to "seal" the part, and a second coat of far less viscous clear curing resin to sit on top of the texture.

    The overall light diffusion/translucency of the part at this point (I assume you're talking about how the part is not entirely opaque?) will depend on the wall thickness, but I would definitely say it would be duller.
  4. SteveHunter
    SteveHunter New Member
    Thanks crsdfr, You definitely understand my goal. I will be at least giving it a good scrub to clean up anything loose but the texture is pleasing so I hope not to loose to much. And a glossy smooth surface over that is what I am after.

    i have little experience with resins, but for this and other work I am doing I need to get to know at least a few of them well. By UV curing do you mean a UV light source is used to cause the cure (as at the dentist with their little blue laser guns)?

    Do you have any suggestions where I should start seeking resin info and sources. The simpler and less toxic the better since I'm not set up with tools and ventilation yet.

    Any thoughts on application? Brushing, dipping, or pouring - I don't have a spray setup.
  5. crsdfr
    crsdfr New Member
    Well I unfortunately can't divulge much information on UV Curing resins, its a continuing development for the company I work for.

    From my experiences of average resins you could buy anywhere, many, many light coatings of your average spray can of automotive clear coat that you'll find in any auto-parts store can achieve the effect you're looking for.

    The first few coats will soak straight into the part, SLS has huge porosity. Eventually you'll start getting a shine between coats. Just keep applying very thin layers until you believe you've built up to a point where a very light sanding with a very light paper won't rub at the SLS texture, only at the peaks of the clear coat. Then more clear coat.

    It will take days worth of this, but I think you'll be pleased with the results. If I had some clear coat laying around here in my workshop I'd do some parts up like this and take some pictures for you to look at, but alas, the can is empty. If you can wait, we should have some more by next week, and I can show you a sample. Otherwise perhaps try it on a non-critical point (the underneath of the part perhaps).
  6. SteveHunter
    SteveHunter New Member
    It sounds like a good method. Your offer to try this out is very generous. It would be helpful, meanwhile I may need to order a small sample printed for me test this on since there isn't any out of the way spot to try it out. (see photos in the It arrived forum.)

    Thanks for all the help.