Painting of 3D Printed Parts

Many of the control components are 3D printed in Nylon with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). SLS uses a laser to shape and form extremely thin layers of powdered material by melting it together one-by-one to create a solid structure. The advantage of this process is that the excess unmelted powder acts as a support to the structure as it is being produced which allows for complex shapes to be made and no additional supports are required. This provides a lightweight, very tough product with a tensile strength of 48MPa.

Painting of the components is very easy, and the nylon accepts acrylic paints (and enamel, but they are less friendly to work with). The sintered nylon is absorbent due to its granular structure.

Below is a comparison with the Spade Grip having been spraypainted with Tamiya acrylic paint in semi-gloss black and flat aluminium.

After painting:

Spade grip painted
Painted Spade Grip

Before painting:

Spade 1

And a comparison with the model:

Spade Grip

The spade grip handle will be wrapped with leather.

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