Can the print using black resin be plated with metal

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Can the print using black resin be plated with metal

Post#1 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:11 pm

We printed some stuff using B9 Black resin. We want to get the surface of the stuff plated with a metal like copper. Searching on the internet, we found Transene Company provides an electroless plating method. The method works on a bare PCB (printed circuit board), however, it doesn’t seem to work well on prints using B9 black resin. I attached the photo of the PCB and the print after eletroless plating.

PCB Plating result
PCB plating.jpg

Print part plating result


We have two questions.
The first question is what does the print consist of? The safety data sheet of black resin shows the resin is composed of Acrylated oligomers and Acrylate monomers. But what about the print after curing? The plating solutions for different substrate may be different.
The second question is what is the recommended way for electroless plating on the printed part? I’m pretty sure many people are curious about whether the print can be plated with metal. Also if the black resin print can’t work well on plating, do we have other resins as a choice?

We really appreciate any advice can give us.

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Robert Howle
B9 Creator
B9 Creator
Posts: 6632

Re: Can the print using black resin be plated with metal

Post#2 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:01 pm

All the parts are paintable. Maybe a conductive "paint" coating first would allow for plating. The process could always be done by electrolytic means if coated.
Dance like nobody's watching!

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B9 Wizard
B9 Wizard
Posts: 1293

Re: Can the print using black resin be plated with metal

Post#3 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:08 pm

A PCBoard is already copper coated, so there would be no problem getting any kind of plating to stick to that.
If you want to Plate prints, you can use Copper or silver paint designed for plating/electroforming. connect a wire to the model, spray with copper paint ,dry and then you can use an electroless copper to coat the piece... however electroless copper is not good for a heavy plate. It is the beginnin of the process... first electroless copper, then you go into a real copper plating bath, either acid copper or Cyanide copper... finally, you would do a nickel plate as a barrier coating and now you can plate silver, gold, Rhodium or whatever.
I have years of electroforming experience in Silver, gold and copper forming over many materials.
Some time in the next couple months I will be setting up another system.

There is also another method that does not use the paint... but the paint is the easiest and lowest cost

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