Dyeing Shapeways prints with a Sharpie

3D Printing & Imaging
Dyeing Shapeways prints with a Sharpie

My colleague Sean Ragan recently discovered that rather than pay for Shapeways’ colorized outputs, it was easier, cheaper, and more durable to buy the basic white and colorize it with a marker.

The cheapest and, reportedly, strongest material in which Shapeways models are available is called “White, strong and flexible.” I herein report that this material is easily colored with Sharpie-brand permanent markers. The ink does bleed a bit through the material, so experiment in an inconspicuous area or with a test model before attempting detailed work. Shapeways offers through-tinted colorized versions of their basic white material at increased cost; my experience with these is that the color fades rapidly, even without extremes of light or temperature. I was pleased, then, to discover that I could just order the cheap white stuff and use a Sharpie on it. Sharpies are available in a much wider range of colors, too. Here the technique is demonstrated on the most recent version of my Alphabet Die model; the bottoms of the letters are left white to enhance visibility.

6 thoughts on “Dyeing Shapeways prints with a Sharpie

  1. Stringa says:

    I’m not sure if this is a plastic-based material or not, but I’ve had great luck dying ABS fabjects with ordinary polyester fabric dye. Definitely worth a try.

  2. alpenhof says:

    This is with Shapeways just as with a lot of other marketing strategies. One tries to the buyer to suggestieren which is also better a more expensive material. But the less expensive white material proves exactly the opposite. It´s definitely worth a try wand with success one saves money.

  3. ROB K636 says:

    If it is ABS, Rit Dye works extremely well.

    Like I did with my project from a few months ago.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

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