How to paint 3D printed parts

Article by Luis Doval updated August 31, 2012

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When you create a part with a 3D printer, you may need a specific colour. Getting it directly from the printer is not always possible, but there is an easy way to obtain it – just paint the 3D printed part.

Paint 3D Printed Part

Paint 3D Printed Part

Follow these three easy steps to paint a 3D printed part:

  1. Sand the part until you obtain the desired surface finish. Start with a rough sand paper (200 to 360), and gradually increase the grit value until you obtain a smooth surface. 600 to 1200 grit sand paper will give you nice results.
  2. Apply a commercial paint primer for plastics. It will seal the part surface and prepare it to receive the paint. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer specification.
  3. Paint the part with your desired colour using a spray paint can or a spray paint gun. Always follow the manufacturer instructions.

This simple process is very useful to visualize the final appearance of a product, select colours, run marketing tests or take pictures of the product in a context prior to its production.

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Luis Doval