Spray paint is not always a bad thing at school. In the context of the St. Raymond after-school Makerspace, it is another useful tool students learn to use in the pursuit of their individual design projects. Last week a student proposed using spray paint to decorate his 3D printed parts. The student was prepared with research on a special paint made by Krylon that bonds well to plastic surfaces. Most (affordable) 3D printers are single color PLA printers. We use a couple of kinds of these printers at the school, including the Dremel Idea Builder. One way to make two color models is to print out separate parts in different colors and then assemble those parts into one model. This is a good idea when you have parts with moving joints with complex geometry, or where tolerances are tight. The second, faster method is to simply print out one large part and use masking tape to block of areas for spray painting. This technique is preferable when the single part strength or simplicity is desired.
The first products combining these techniques look promising. The student leading this effort will continue to develop the technique and publish results on this blog later this year.