Best Paint For 3d Prints

Crocodile Clips / Clamps / Pegs With Moving Jaws

How to Paint 3D Prints

Crocodile Clips! Created by an amazing designer as noted by users of his 3D models. This 3D model has 2 different files, a Crocs version with legs at the sides, and an alternative-Crocs file without legs.

Both of these versions print better with the built-in support, this print is made more durable with 3 or 4 shells and an infill of 75%. Printing the version with built-in support, a lower speed can help avoid getting spaghetti print as it allows the layers to bond better as they print.

Many users have printed this clips in large volumes and have found that the printed crocs have the strength to be used as clamps or pegs with a strong grip.

Use A Wash Where Necessary

A wash is a somewhat unique paint treatment that is usually used when painting miniatures. A wash is an acrylic solution that shifts the color of the layer it was applied to. It is a very easy way to create highlights and areas of high contrast in models. Washes are great for creating areas of different colors in your figure without having to do a lot of work.

Again, you will want to use a wash that applies thinly and can be easily controlled. They should essentially feel like watery or thinned paint mixtures. The line of washes from Citadel Paint is among the most commonly used by miniature painters. You can also make your own wash by mixing color pigments with a suitable solvent such as a thinner, mineral oil, or water. If youre just starting out, its easier to just buy a pre-made wash.

Can You Paint 3d Prints Without Primer

Yes, you can paint 3D prints without a primer, but the paint usually wont adhere properly to the surface of the model. A primer is used so the paint can easily stick to your 3D prints rather than coming off easily afterward. Id recommend that you either use a primer then paint your model, or use a 2-in-1 primer.

ABS and TPU are known to be quite challenging to paint without using a primer due to the surface properties.

You can probably get away without using a primer for painting 3D prints but bear in mind that the best results usually follow when you prime your models.

That is because primers fill up your print lines, and prevent the paint from settling in them as the paint has a tendency of dripping down to the lowest point of the surface of the part before it hardens.

This is why its pretty important to prime your models first before painting to achieve a high-quality look.

That said, Ive come across a YouTube video by Pauls Garage that goes over a unique method of painting 3D printed objects without a primer.

This is done using oil-based pens that do not warrant sanding or priming prior to painting. This is a relatively new way of making your 3D prints colorful and full of life.

You can get the Oil-Based Markers by Sharpie on Amazon for somewhere around $15. This product is currently decorated with the Amazons Choice label and also has an admirable 4.6/5.0 overall rating.

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Best Spray Primer For 3d Printed Models

The best spray primer in my opinion is the Tamiya Surface Primer or Testors Enamel Primer, as mentioned above. For 3D printed miniatures or models, I highly recommend either aerosol spray primers. Each comes in a rattle can and sprays reliably.

Of course, youll need to follow the instructions, e.g., avoid spraying in cold weather or in high ambient humidity. The same goes with normal spray paint, too.

I have used these aerosol primers on many different types of 3D printed plastics, including ABS, PLA, and PETG. They also work great for preparing 3D printed resin surfaces for paint jobs.

While the printing process even from the best 3D printers creates tiny lines on a model, these primers work well to hides these imperfections while preserving find detail.

I recommend getting either gray or white colors for the Tamiya and Testors primers. This is important because it helps you see the coverage as youre applying it.

The lighter tone also helps maintain shadow contrast over an unpainted model, which helps when you get to the painting process.

The gray tone in my opinion is the best choice for primer color because it gives you flexibility when painting with all kinds of color schemes.

Ive found that two or three thin coats works best with these spray primers. When dry, these primers provide a good foundation for paint to adhere to.

Which Type Of Paint Can I Use For My 3d Printed Part

Best Paint for 3D Prints

Standard model-making paints work great with polyamide , mammoth resin, standard resin, gray resin and high-detail resin. Both acrylic and water-based paints work as well, but several layers may be needed.

Since polyamide has a porous structure, the result of applying paint directly will not look good. Therefore, its better to first use a primer that puts a preparatory coating on your model before painting. Some people, like Dutch artist Danny van Ryswyk, even thoroughly clean their model with water first and let it dry for several days before starting to paint. On our blog, he explains how he hand paints his polyamide sculptures.

Mammoth resin, standard resin, gray resin, and high-detail resin will be easier to paint. Also, start with a primer first to smoothen the surface of your model. This way, the visible level structure of the 3D print process decreases. In a tutorial on how to paint a scale model in gray resin, Guido Mandorf suggests first using a spray can or an airbrush and finishing any small details with a normal brush.

Please, do not use any harsh paints because some chemicals may degrade your models or react with the 3D printing materials. When painting, wear a mask, use caution and ensure plenty of ventilation.

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How To Paint 3d Printed Parts

One step in the finishing process is the key to turning 3D printed objects into a professional product. Most beginners skip it, but all experienced model builders do it. It makes painting effortless and helps create a flawless final surface. This one step is priming.

Adding a final coat of paint to a part creates presence and polish. But anyone who builds 3D printed models for a living knows that paint hides no flaws. Without treatment, small step-marks or support marks will show through on the final surface, along with any large triangles visible in the 3D printed mesh. Depending on the 3D printing process you used, there might also be clearly visible layer lines. If the end goal is to create a show-stopping object, then primer is essential.

The goal of priming is to create a pristine print surface before painting. The neutral gray of a primer highlights imperfections in a model and preps them to be sanded or filled with modeling putty. It makes the painting process much cleaner and the outcome more professional .

Prior to priming, the surface should be smooth. While primer will fill in very small cracks and holes, using a thin coat of paint will retain surface details.

After sanding and adding an initial coat of primer, inspect the surface again for imperfections. Most primers have an extremely flat finish that highlights intricate details under direct light. Apply a final coat of primer and after the manufacturer specified drying time, the part is ready for painting .

Can You Use Heavy Body Acrylic Paint On 3d Printed Objects

Yes, Similar to oil paints, heavy body acrylics have a viscosity that is thick and buttery. This makes it simpler to mix and combine colors while also preserving the brushstrokes.

While fluid acrylics can be used for dry-brush painting, detail work, staining, watercolor techniques, and watercolor work, they are watered down yet still maintain the same quantity of pigment.

For artists who enjoy experimenting with texture, heavy-body acrylics are essential. Since these paints have a higher viscosity than liquid paint, they behave almost like buttery oils and hold brush and knife work better after drying.

There are no additional fillers, dyes, extenders, toners, or opacifiers in heavy-body acrylic paints.

Although they flow uniformly and are just as vivid as heavy body acrylic paints, fluid acrylic paints can also be applied with a dry brush, by pouring, or even by spraying. They blend well with both heavy and liquid acrylics.100-150 words.

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Is Pla Filament Food Safe

When not 3D printed, yes. If youre new to 3d printing, its likely that youve already encountered PLA around your home.

PLA is used to make many common objects, including food containers, disposable tableware and garbage bags.

However, 3D printing in PLA will not create food-safe containers, because 3d printing can cause many tiny gaps and cavities in your prints that will harbor moisture and food residue.

After a few washes, this will turn into mold and you wont be able to keep it clean.

Even though PLA is biodegradable it is still a strong and durable material. You will find PLA to be harder than other common thermoplastics like ABS.

However, its lower tensile strength tends to make it more brittle PLA.

How To Paint Pla To Get The Best Results

How to Paint 3d prints, the basics

PLA tends to be a very forgiving 3D printing filament not only during the printing process, but also in post-processing. PLA can be painted with acrylics, enamels, and it can also be coated with varnish and other similar clear coats.

Painting bare PLA will, in most cases, give you okay results. But be aware that the natural layer-lines tend to become more visibly pronounced when painted. If that is the look you are after, then that is fine. But for those that want a smooth finish, it is best to follow the tried and tested multi-step method for post-processing 3D printed parts:

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Can You Use Acrylic Paint On 3d Printed Objects

Yes, you can successfully use acrylic paints on 3D printed objects for a great surface finish. They are cheap and can be applied to models easily, although theres a bit more effort involved as compared to regular spray paints.

Ive mentioned earlier that spray paints are best for beginners, but using acrylic paints has its own set of benefits as well. For instance, acrylic paints dry faster and can be cleaned with water.

However, it can get hard to get a perfectly even coat of paint with acrylic paints. Still, if youre very new to the field of 3D printing and youd like to better your post-processing, acrylic paints are actually a great way to start.

You can find high-quality acrylic paints near where you live in local stores or online. The Apple Barrel PROMOABI Acrylic Craft Paint Set is a top-rated product thats priced affordably and includes 18 bottles, with each of them being 2 oz in quantity.

At the time of writing, the Apple Barrel Acrylic Craft Paint Set has more than 28,000 ratings on Amazon and an awesome 4.8/5.0 overall rating. Moreover, 86% of customers have left a 5-star review at time of writing.

People who bought this acrylic paint set for painting 3D printed parts say that the colors look fantastic and the adhesion of the paint is just right.

One user has said that they didnt even feel the need to sand or prime the model before painting. They jumped right in with these paints and a few extra coats got the job done perfectly.

Other 3d Printing Materials

If you are using a material we did not include in our tests, or are not sure what filament was used for your print, there are two simple tests to determine adhesion with acrylics. One is the water drop test- an optical measurement of interfacial tension between a solid and a liquid. Simply place a drop or a small pool of water on your print and observe whether the water forms a bead or spreads out flat. In the latter case acrylics should wet out the surface and adhere well. If the water drop beads up, so will the wet acrylic paint and an appropriate primer will be necessary for good adhesion. The second test would be the cross-adhesion, which was also used for these tests and described in Will It Stick? Simple Adhesion Testing In Your Studio.

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Best Primer For 3d Prints

Are you preparing to paint your 3D printed parts? If youre a miniature painter or scale modeler using 3D printing, then youll want to know that any good paint job starts with a great primer undercoat.

In this article, I share my experience with the painting process of 3D printed miniatures and models. Using an appropriate primer before applying acrylic paints is the key to great results.

Eliminate Paint Absorption With A Primer Coat:

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One of the issues with hand painting 3D printed parts is that the plastic absorbs a lot of the paint. Even when hand painting, a primer coat is really important for a clean final product. As instructed above, spray a base coat of primer onto your part before painting.

3. Paint Away! Once the primer coat is dry, your part is an open canvas. Using a brush and some hand paint, paint your part however you desire. Remember to paint in a well-ventilated area!

4.Let it Dry: Let your model dry, and once its complete youre all set!

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If You Could Only Choose One Primer For Painting 3d Printed Miniatures And Models

In my opinion, the best primer for 3D printed models is Vallejo Surface Primer. Its perfect for brush-on or airbrush application and provides a smooth, even coat thats perfect for painting.

If you want to avoid brush marks entirely from any painting, then spraying on Vallejo Surface Primer is the better way to go.

Spray on paints also make it easier for a smoother application, even helping you add gradients, e.g., zenithal highlighting, to your paint job. Take a look at this article for more information about how to thin paints for airbrushing miniatures.

Can Every 3d Printed Object Be Painted

This is a very general question that I still get asked quite frequently so I will try and answer it as best as I can.

Every 3D printed object can be painted as long as no industrial style 3D printer that prints metal. Even prints that were printed with special filament like wood or glow in the dark filament can be painted as long as the prints are being prepared by applying a primer first.

There are some crazy printers out there that will print in metal by making a sand mold and then casting the mold with metal but as long as you don´t use any of these printers but a regular resin or regular 3D printer then you will be fine.

Resin and plastic filament, even if it is a special filament, can easily be painted but you need to prepare the surface before painting it.

This is usually done by sanding the surface first to get rid of any imperfections and then applying a primer that will prepare the surface for painting and will ensure that the paint will adhere to the surface of the 3D print properly.

You can read a detailed guide on how to properly paint 3D prints right here.

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How To Determine What Primer To Use For 3d Prints

3D printed parts can have a wide variety of finishes, from smooth to very rough. The type of primer you use depends on how smooth your 3D printed surface is.

If you have a very smooth surface, such as those from DLP or SLA resin 3D printers, you can probably just use a regular brush-on primer. If your surface is rough, you may want to use a spray-on primer or an airbrush primer.

You can also use a high build filler primer, such as putty, spackle, or gesso. This will help to smooth out any imperfections in your 3D print. Just be sure to sand the surface in between primer + filler coats.

For best results with PLA printed models for an acrylic paint job, for example, you may want to use a few coats of a primer and filler.

Wet sanding between coats of primer/filler will remove any material that has been added, giving you an even smoother surface. A damp tack cloth will help remove any residue from the sanding process.

Of course, if youre planning to paint a 3D printed miniature with fine detail and texture, then a primer + filler combo isnt a good choice. Spray paint and primers with filler formulations often cover up those details really easily if youre not careful.

How To Paint Your Resin 3d Prints

TOP Pro Tips For Painting 3D Printed Minis

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Printing tabletop figures and miniatures is a major use case for resin printing. 3D printing with photopolymer resin is capable of reproducing very small details accurately, making it perfect for these finely crafted figures.

However, 3D printing a figure is only the first step of the process. To really make these miniatures stand out, they have to be painted. This is a very popular craft that takes quite a bit of skill. Fortunately, 3D printing makes the hobby so much more accessible. If youre planning to paint your 3D printed tabletop figures, then check out some of our tips.

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What Kind Of Paint Should You Use For 3d Printing Best Paints

The best paints to use for 3D printing are airbrush sprays if you have experience because you can get amazing detail and blending. Spray paints and acrylic sprays are also great choices for painting 3D prints. You can also use an all-in-one primer and paint combo that primes and paints the surface.

The best paints are ones that dont form thick layers and are easy to control.

For beginners, its best to use canned spray paints for painting 3D printed objects which is affordable and easy to use too, as compared to an airbrush or acrylic paints.

Ive gathered some of the best spray paints that work well with plastic and can be used for 3D printing below.

  • Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Spray Paint
  • Tamiya Spray Lacquer


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