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  1. #1

    3d Print a Tie Clip

    Hello all! I'm new to 3D printing. I'd like to 3D print a custom tie clip - is it possible to create a realistic tie clip using 3D printing? As in a smooth metallic finish that looks and feels like a tie clip? If so, what material do you recommend I print in? Appreciate any advice that can be shared!

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    264
    There are metallic filaments out there, but I expect the results may not be what you seek. Those that I've seen appear to require high levels of careful detailed sanding, followed by equally careful detailed polishing and yet, the grain of the plastic is easily seen.

    If you are able to create a model or find one that works as a tie clip, you can perform what is called electroforming. A conductive paint is applied and dried and the item is immersed in metallic solution while a current is applied. The metal is transferred to the conductive paint during the process. If you use a solution of silver, you get a silver layer. Use a copper or nickel solution and that's the layer that is generated. Nickel will be the lowest cost shiny silver option, while silver and gold are going to be way up there!

    Use search terms "electroforming 3d models" or "electroforming 3d prints" to see many resources for performing this type of project.

    One of them is an instructables for a ring:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/How...roform-A-Ring/

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by fred_dot_u View Post
    There are metallic filaments out there, but I expect the results may not be what you seek. Those that I've seen appear to require high levels of careful detailed sanding, followed by equally careful detailed polishing and yet, the grain of the plastic is easily seen.

    If you are able to create a model or find one that works as a tie clip, you can perform what is called electroforming. A conductive paint is applied and dried and the item is immersed in metallic solution while a current is applied. The metal is transferred to the conductive paint during the process. If you use a solution of silver, you get a silver layer. Use a copper or nickel solution and that's the layer that is generated. Nickel will be the lowest cost shiny silver option, while silver and gold are going to be way up there!

    Use search terms "electroforming 3d models" or "electroforming 3d prints" to see many resources for performing this type of project.

    One of them is an instructables for a ring:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/How...roform-A-Ring/
    Great, thank you. Appreciate it!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    6,987
    plus the filaments made with metal powders tend to be very weak. I have some bronzefill, and once you've spent 3 days anding and polishing it - it does look and feel like metal. Just has no real strength.

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