Creating a Grip Surface With Formlabs Flex

I stumbled into a methodology for giving parts a pseudo soft grip surface.

Brush a small amount of Flex on to the surface of the finished part, and hit it with a 405nm laser pointer. Cure the part under water in a UV chamber until the flex layer is no longer sticky. (It takes about 15 minutes in a nail polish dryer. )

The finished surface has a warm solid feel in your hand,

I also had interesting results thinning the Flex resin with small amount of IPA. It took longer to cure, but was less prone to showing brush marks.


Just had a thought: wonder if you could do actual overmolding in a water clear silicone mold, with the part to overmold as the core… I may attempt an experiment on that. Great job, and thanks for being curious and imaginative!


Q: how well does the flexible adhese to the original part? can it peel off, or is it chemically bonded?

I believe its chemically bonded to the original part. I haven’t been able to separate flex from the underlying surface.

Overmolding would be awesome. I haven’t done much work with water clear silicone, do you think it will have the rigidity to stand up to molding?


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dunno - i got some for another reason a while ago and have not had time to try it. It also ‘crumbles into realistic ice and glass!’, so guessing it may be a one-off in use. it’ll probably work for one unit anyway. it may also block too much UV for it to work very efficiently, but in the sun i imagine it should still eventually cure it.