Michel and Yves Sinner over at 3D Printing for Beginners collected a number of resources to “highlight” (heh) glow-in-the-dark filament — how it works, how to buy it, and a few tips on how to print with this unique (and often expensive!) printing material.
Details about the chemical properties of the material from “What Material Should I Use For 3D Printing? – Advanced Materials Review #4 – Glow in the Dark Filament“:
Glow-in-the-dark PLA or ABS filament is in fact nothing else but standard PLA/ABS filament to which the manufacturer added a so-called “phosphorescent material.” Manufacturers most commonly add pigments of zinc sulfide, calcium sulfide, or strontium aluminate, which are materials which will “glow” for a certain time, after they have been exposed to a light source, like a flashlight or sunlight….
Actually, the pigments simply absorb the photons contained in the light source and they will re-emit a part of this absorbed light over a certain period of time. This process of “phosphorescence” is what we most commonly refer to as “glowing.” This glowing can especially be well observed in a dark environment, that’s why these types of materials are commonly referred to as “glow-in-the-dark” filaments.
The part of the write-up that I found most helpful were the experiments to determine slicing tricks for producing brighter objects — that stay bright for the longest period of time:
…in order to get the best glowing prints, it is recommended that you slice your prints with no or the least amount of infill while adding a few more shells than usual. The thicker the walls of your 3D print, the better it will glow in the dark afterwards….
For more details and examples of projects printed in glow-in-the-dark filaments, check out the rest of their coverage here.