Creating Labels, logos, and text on parts

So the numbering and hash marks are modeled into the part, and a layer of paint blotted in, and allowed to dry… then sand.

This was a test on a bad part, that was already sanded once (thus the partial fill here and there). This was done very hastily just as a proof of concept. I’m certain you could make it perfect, with a little care.

But a quick and easy way to get it done!

Line width and depth of cut are both 0.017" in this case… the characters are 0.105" tall (for reference/scale)


I usually save my self the hassle and laser engrave the parts but that can be tricky to line up on odd shaped pieces and get good results on long curved surfaces. I believe it might be possible to dye sublimate the printed parts, something I have been meaning to test in my spare time. Being the parts are plastic, technically it should work.

1 Like

I considered that too… but thought I’d get some bleed. I haven’t tried it yet either.

As you inferred. With this method, you know it’s accurate, because it’s in the cad. It’s not a new technique by any means (enameled jewellery), but just a new media.

… and this was really fast and easy! 2-minutes to apply the media, and two more to remove the excess (well, with 4-hours unattended drying time).

You could likely do it with contrasting resin, and your post-cure chamber.

In the past, I’ve used paint sticks to add color to laser engravings (e.g. Lacquer-Stiks). It’s a waxy, crayon-like material that you rub onto the surface, then wipe off; the solid paint gets stuck in the engraved cracks.

I’m curious whether this would work with your model, or whether the features are too large to trap the waxy paint.

1 Like

Check the engraving suppliers they have fill sticks with different colors that should work well on that.
I have in the past made a slury of powder paint then hit it with a heat gun. I used denatured alcohol and mix it into a paste and wipe the excess off. Once dry you can hit it with a heat gun and it should gloss over. A torch and quick flash over should do the trick too.

1 Like

(That would be 0.432 mm depth and letter width for anyone who was curious. I had to look it up!)

1 Like

Hah! Yes… we are one of no one that use the Emperial system of units… it’s embarrassing actually.

…what, it’s us (USA) and Myanmar? That’s it.

For the rest of the world…

1-inch (aka 1") = 25.4mm

… you do the math… it’s just math. And based on international surveys. Everyone is better than us… with math. :wink:


In the UK we still have a mix of imperial & metric. We get our fuel dispensed in litres yet still talk about MPG or MPH, our road signs are still in miles, we still do pints of beer & milk, it’s not all metric yet!

1 Like

The slug is what keeps people from reverse engineering USA military technology. It’s more secure than 256 bit encryption. All American engineers can sling the slug, no one else stands a chance. :joy:

Oh yeah, and we can also do metric because it’s child’s play in comparison to what we normally deal with. :stuck_out_tongue:

I would be a 100% metric shop if metric stock and tooling was the same price over here.

1 Like

True Dougie… and if I ask you how much YOU weigh.

… you’ll say 13 stone :wink:

1 Like

Matt… I think they would work just fine. The question is whether or not you could wipe the surface perfectly clean, or if the surface texture of the material would hold a little bit.


Ain’t that the truth. physics is a b!%ch in Imperial units! Any project that needs analysis/math… it’s done in Metric. I made a vow to never use the slug again when I graduated!

1 Like

LOL, yep, 13 sounds about right :wink:

Yeah! And the funny thing is, it’s the only unit in our system that is easy! Yet, it is the hardest unit to grapple!

f = m • a

1 lbf = 1 slug • 1 ft/s

So maybe it’s lb-mass that’s the culprit of all the confusion…

It’s really a matter of reference.

In Imperial units, we use force (incorrectly) in common language for mass, but no one knows what a unit-mass is (slug). In metric, everyone uses the unit mass as a basis (kg, correctly), but outside of calculation, no one knows what a Newton (unit force) is… so WTH is a stone :wink:

1 Like