3D Printing Finish: Plating

Gold and Nickel plating  (1).jpg pendant nickel.jpg gold plated pendant.jpg pendant gold plating.jpg
Gold and Nickel plating  (1).jpg pendant nickel.jpg gold plated pendant.jpg pendant gold plating.jpg

General information

What is Plating?

Plating is the process of depositing a thin layer of metal onto the surface of an object. The most common metals used for plating are gold, silver and nickel one. There exists other kinds of plating options, as rhodium plating, chrome plating and zinc plating. At Sculpteo online 3D printing service, you can have two metal plating options: Nickel plating and Gold plating.

There are  many plating methods. The most common method is when a solid surface is covered with a metal sheet, and then heat and pressure are applied to fuse them. Among others, there also exists nickel electroplating, copper plating, tin plating, vapor deposition under vacuum and sputter deposition.

Nickel plating.jpg Gold plating.jpg

Plating at Sculpteo

At Sculpteo, the plating finish can be applied only on Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR material and on Brass material .

Through Sculpteo's 3D printing service, you have access to two metal plating options for our Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR material :

  • Nickel plating
  • Gold plating
For our Brass 3D printing material you have access to four metal plating options:

  • White Rhodium
  • Black Rhodium
  • Gold
  • Pink Gold

Technical Specifities

The maximum size for plating your models is limited by the physical size of our 3D plating tanks. Your designs must respect this maximum size in order to be printed. In order to be printed, the plated objects must also follow the minimum size of 0.3 x 1.27 x 0.8 mm.

Maximum size for plating Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR 177.8 x 177.8 x 177.8 mm
Minimum size for plating  Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR 0.3 x 1.27 x 0.8 mm
Maximum size for plating Brass
88 x 88 x 120 mm
Minimum size for plating  Brass no limitation

Delivery time

Plating in gold or nickel can extend the processing time by 2-3 days on average, which means:

  • Express production: unavailable.
  • Standard production: minimum 2 to 3 days on average.
  • Economy production: unavailable.

Technical aspects to keep in mind when plating a 3D printed part

The nickel and gold plating we use on our binder jetting Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR is 24 karats. It’s important to note that plating is purely decorative, and that the colors may vary slightly from one plating to another. Also, plating consists of thin layer of metal finishing, it can wear off over time, especially if the part is used very frequently. Thanks to our gold and nickel plating finishes, our material binder jetting Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR is perfectly suited for turning your precious metals into jewelry. Though, keep in mind that both the surface of the raw Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR and plating surface finishing of can is granular and slightly porous.

Brass is a metal and in the 3D printing industry it is used to create unique jewellery or decorative creations. Our brass models can stand extended skin contact, and will cause no harm in doing so.

The final brass product is solid but may suffer from scratching and tarnishes when exposed to air. This happens because brass is oxidised in air, especially in humid conditions. Fortunately though, you can avoid the effect of oxidation, by plating your brass models with any of our new plating options: White Rhodium, Black Rhodium, Gold plating and Pink Gold plating.

In order to apply the surface finishing of any of our plating options on your pieces of metal, we need to have a line of sight to adhere. Parts with internal channels or holes/features are not good candidates for plating. In addition, parts containing fluid-holding type cavities cannot be plated.

For more information, you can take a look at our Steel / Bronze 420SS/BR and Brass material page.