Mixing glitter with resin?


#1

I know I know, another weird resin alteration question.

Has anyone mixed glitter or mica into Formlabs resin and, if so, how did it turn out?


#2

Anecdotally, from the stories of Formlabs employees (who have no warranty to void and/or who may be skilled at repairing printers if something goes wrong anyway), it can print OK and result in sparkly prints, but is likely to ruin your IPA wash for other parts unless you want them flecked with glitter, too. In some cases, the resin may also dissolve the coloration out of the glitter, leaving you with tinted resin and clear glitter, instead of clear resin with colorful glitter. I may or may not be able to find some photos of results.


#3

Those are all acceptable outcomes, I was more worried about wasting a cartridge of resin due to complete resin incompatibility but both possible color bleed-out and needing a second IPA bath are both fine. I work for a toy invention firm and having the option to just print in weird effects is promising!


#4

I’ve done pretty extensive printing with glitter in resin - like Ike said, you have to be cautious because glitter will get everywhere! That being said, I love the finished prints!


This is a print that is made of clear resin with blue/green glitter mixed in. I mixed the glitter into the tank and just let plain clear resin dispense into the tank during the print.

This print was Clear resin with mica powder mixed in. You have to be REALLY careful with the mica - clear resin settings didn’t work with this amount of mica in the resin. I had to print in open mode with Black settings and double-expose the file to get it to actually print successfully.

If you’re just looking for a clear tint, use alcohol ink! I’ve had spectacular success mixing alcohol ink into clear resin.


#5

As an update, I have not had a chance to try glitter but I’ve successfully mixed two tablespoons of cyan glow in the dark powder pigment into a liter of Durable. I’ll post pics of the results in a bit but we’ve noticed it actually gives better thin wall results than undoctored durable, we’re wondering if the pigment is ‘overcuring’ the resin from the inside out because it’s resulting in much sturdier prints. Settling is a mild issue so we just mix everything super well at the beginning of prints, but so far we’ve had 0 issues even for teeny tiny (3.5mm thin-walled) parts.


#6

Thanks for the update! While it is possible that the powder affects the curing, one other explanation would be that it just acts as a filler, stiffening the parts just because it’s physically there.


#7

That may also be it, though two tablespoons in a little over a liter seems like an inadequate filler?

It’s less that the parts are stiffer and more that they achieve a full cure /overcure much faster and demonstrate reduced surface tackiness and friction over fully cured parts printed in pure Durable.


#8

Interesting to read this thread. Do you think it is also possible to mix durable with pigment ink? We do this a lot with other resin types (LCD resins) but I am not sure if it will work with Durable. And if possible what will it do to the expected life span?


#9

I’m not sure why you would use inks over a purpose-made resin pigment (ie: Smooth On So-Strong, UV resin pigments) but I’ve had good success with both urethane resin pigments/dye and those marketed for UV and epoxy resins in Durable. You just want to be careful going too dark or too opaque (black pigments tend to affect curing, as does attempting to make the resin completely opaque)

So-strong is great for the base colors because you need so little for a saturated color, and I like to further tweak the hue with UV resin pigments because they require more to make a drastic change. Make sure your So-Strong isn’t expired!


#10

maybe ‘ink’ wasn’t the right name, we use use a special pigment for resins. I haven’t heard of smooth on So strong before so will check it out. But since that works for you I am now pretty convinced that our current pigment will work too with durable so we will give it a try. thanks!


#11

Ah, that makes sense! I’ve seen folks use alcohol inks, like for illustration, as a resin colorant and it confuses me because I’d worry there’d be some additive that would react badly with resin because it’s not made to mix with resin.

Good luck!


#12

Didn’t Formlabs have a glitter resin about three years ago?

I thought I remembered seeing that on the site…and I hate to admit, but that was a selling point for me.

I have absolutely no use for it, but my “inner princess” was demanding that feature.
:blush:


#13

It was an April Fools joke, like their scented resin prank lol now I’m wondering what this year’s will be.

https://formlabs.com/blog/introducing-glitter-resin/

Though I have also had success scenting Durable with scents made for candles and soaps. Bubblegum-scented pink glitter resin?


#14

Hey Everyone! I’ll just mentioned we finished our firstFormlabs Twitch stream, and about 40ish minutes in, we discuss some printing with glitter tips for a few minutes.