Anyone do any metal plating on Form1+ prints?

Looking at some materials out there for metal plating plastics and wondering what kind of mess it might be and if there are any tips/suggestions.

Looking at doing nickel plating as well as gold tone.

I am still waiting for my Form 1+ to be shipped to me (within 2 weeks) so I cannot tell you right now how “messy” electroplating will be on the resin. However, another hobby of mine is electroplating (gold/silver/copper/nickel), and I do have the facilities to plate onto plastic. This can be done by first airbrushing your product with conductive silver ink. After that You can plate it, but keep in mind that in order to nickel or goldplate, you’d first have to copperplate it, as both the nickel and gold cannot be plated onto the ink directly.


I saw the silver spray on Caswell’s site, not sure how good they are as a supplier since I never purchased from them, they show a less expensive alternative to the silver spray called copper conductive pain. Have you tried this?

Parts I would be making for this would be purely decorative so durability is less of an issue.

Not sure if anyone has done so in-house, but we did a blog post last year about electroplating through a service bureau. The parts look great electroplated and feel much heftier.

My experience with Service bureau’s is not that great. One of the main reasons I bought a Form1 because of turnaround, quality and costs.

The plating companies usually want huge minimum charges and are pretty pricey per part making the end product or 1 off’s impractical.

I have done cold casting that looks really nice but would never achieve the mirror finish that some designs require.

The more environmentally friendly plating systems that seem to be emerging look viable for the small user.

I’ll keep them in mind if whats available seems too messy. Thanks for the post.

I haven’t tried the copper conductive paint myself, so I wouldn’t know if it’s any good. The biggest challenge is getting the silver (or copper particles) evenly spread over your object. If there is a part which didn’t get enough silver particles, the electroplating wont work and therefore ruin the whole product.

Worth noting is that there are different types of copper which you can plate. Some of them cannot be used for gold. You should check that out first before buying it, however copper paint is luckily a lot cheaper than silver ink.

I’ve tried some of the stuff from Caswell. You need to spend more than $300 or so to do it right with their stuff. It’s not easy, I couldn’t get any decent adhesion with the silvering solution they have. The copper paint didn’t stick to the plastic either, wanted to bead up and run off. I haven’t tried airbrushing the copper paint yet.

I’ve had similar issues with my silver ink. Using a plastic primer does solve the problem, although it will give you an extra thick layer obviously…