Transparent color finish / how to tint clear resin

Hello to all of you !
I’m Marco, and first time here. Happy owner of new Form2 arrived last week, sadly not had a chance to try it yet due to busy project workload.

I was thinking about colouring the transparent resin. I searched a lot online and here, quite didn’t anything that would explain clearly how to tint a clear resin afterward you get a solid piece of print.
Something like this: I tried to write them but unfortunately didn’t had any reply back. Here they say " …for transparent color finishes, pigment is added to the varnish" so i imagine they add some sort of pigment/dye to a clear varnish and spray on it.
So let’s say i print a perfume bottle, or transparent jar and want to have it coloured, but translucent, like the i.materialise frog, how should i proceed ? or well, what sort of color should i use ? Glass color, resin dye pigment, acrylic transparent, alcohol ink?
Another method here that does exactly the job, but seems too messy/time consuming, and i’m sure the i.materiale folk didn’t use this, but simply spray the piece afterwards achieving the same thing.

I really don’t know: i’m quite used to colours, painting, air-brush and stuff, but seems really difficult (at least now for me:) ) that seems to solve a simple thing, like have a transparent piece but coloured.

How you and Formlabs crew can help out and we can all have a great conversation together, finding a great simple solution for this.



Not sure about the tinted colors, but if you are trying to get crystal clear i can confirm “RUST-OLEUM Paint’s Touch ULTRA GLOSS CLEAR” Spray paint will do the job. Also has an added bonus of being UV resistant to help protect your print. I think its was like 3$ for a can at home depot.

All i did was sand down the support bits until i had a smooth model (400 grit paper) then spray the model with a layer or two of the clear coat.

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For tinting the clear plastic I’d probably do a tinted gloss coat, rather than trying to actually tint the clear resin since that would affect how it prints. Might be as simple as using a transparent paint.

Thanks guys. No problem at all with sanding and achieving a clear finish, but rather a color tint transparent. Exactly like that frog on i.materialise website.
Zachary, it is exactly what i meant to. Tinting clear resin like you would normally do with any other spraying work will cause to lost the transparency, and this is exactly what i don’t want. Actually, exactly the opposite.
Imagine having a 33l green bottle: that’s what i want. And your process seems the one stated on i.materialise page. But what kind of transparent paint / process to have a consistent coloured clear resin?

Otherwise we’re going to make it opaque, or lose the tint color film as soon as you touch the part. Seems they add a “pigment” to a clear paint, but how / which one ?

I have used these colorants from SmoothOn. The caveat is, I have not used them in the machine. Rather, I used them with clear resin painted onto a part, and let the Sun harden it. It worked great. I was a little concerned that it might stain the PDMS layer, so I have not tried it directly in the machine yet. I plan to when I get a tank that’s getting cloudy as a test. Be advised this stuff is INCREDIBLY potent. One drop will tint way more than you think.

Thanks Christopher. Seems a great idea. When you said “i used with clear resin painted onto part” you mean you paint with brush a clear resin with some drops in it? Or do you used a clear varnish coat with some drops of those and the sprayed with airbrush, spray-gun onto part?

Because i’m looking at this type of solution to have a nice smooth consistent tinted clear part. I’ve tried with glass color mixed with water to put into airbrush this weekend. It colours nicely but the mix and viscosity in the tiny airbrush nozzle makes difficulty to “guess” the part proportions and it is unpredictable. Unfortunately there is no transparent can spray to tint this sort of clear parts.

Need to find a easy and feasible solution. Maybe just diluting more the mix or using a different process like soaking in liquid dye will solve the problem.
Unless we do like you said: mix it in the clear resin, but at that point i think we would need a different tank for each different color to use with.

What do you think?

In my case, I needed a glass smooth surface in one area of the part. In the design, I created a depression with walls, like a tiny tray or tank, and I dripped the resin (with the colorant added) into the depression, then set it in the sun. It ‘mostly’ worked, but the thickness of the resin created too large a meniscus. My plan for next test is to heat the resin to ~200F, syringe that into place, and then hit it with a laser while it’s still really hot. I’m thinking this will minimize the meniscus issue.

Yeah, plus in a similar way to the meniscus issue I was having, the spray-on paint will tend to gather at internal corners and be darker.

Soaking in dye sounds like a good thing to try. Maybe do that as soon as it comes out, and before post curing? Might soak in better. Or possibly just figure out a good proportion of colorant to resin, and mix it in the tank and print it. Worst case is you waste a little resin and trash a tank’s PDMS layer.


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