Add Full-Color Images To Your 3D Prints With Toner Transfer

Add Full-Color Images To Your 3D Prints With Toner Transfer

Toner transfer is a commonly-made use of strategy for applying text and pictures to flat surfaces these types of as PCBs, but anybody who has deemed utilizing the similar process on 3D prints will have understood that the heat from the iron would be a challenge. [Coverton] has a answer that virtually turns the notion on its head, by 3D printing specifically onto the transparency sheet.

instrument panel design with toner transfer markings
The wonderful depth is terrific for intuitive front-panel patterns

The strategy is remarkably easy, and could depict a sport-changer for hobbyists trying to achieve specialist-hunting comprehensive-coloration pictures on their prints.

To start with, the mirrored picture is printed on to a piece of transparency movie with a laser printer. Then, at the time the 3D printer has laid down the initially layer of the object, you align the transparency around it and tape it down so it would not move around. The plastic that is been deposited presently is then eradicated, and a small water is put on the center of the mattress. Making use of a paper towel, the transparency gets smoothed out right until the bubbles are pushed off to the edges.

Yet another few parts of tape hold the transparency down on all corners, and the hotend peak is modified to choose into account the transparency thickness. From there, the print can go on on as typical. When completed, the graphic really should be fused with the plastic. If it’s tricky to visualize, verify out the online video following the break for a action-by-step guideline.

There are, of course, some caveats. Aligning the transfer and the print appears to be a small fiddly at the moment, the transparency substance utilized (obviously) has to be rated for use in laser printers, and it only is effective on flat surfaces. But on the other hand, there will be some readers who presently have every little thing they have to have to check out this out at house right now — and we’d enjoy to see the benefits!

We’ve included some other methods to get shade and visuals on to 3D prints in the previous, these types of as this hydrographic technique or by working with an inkjet printhead, but [Coverton]’s concept looks considerably easier than possibly of people. If you are fascinated in toner transfer for less heat-delicate resources, then check out out this guidebook from a several yrs back again, or see what other Hackaday visitors have been executing on wooden or brass.

This is a fast video of the toner transfer process. from 3Dprinting

Many thanks to [Shaun] for the idea.

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