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How To Add Color To Plastic Prototype?

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Henry

15 years of experience in prototyping and manufacturing.

During the plastic prototyping process, prototype engineers usually need to color plastic prototype to reflect the original design to allow the designers to evaluate the final appearance. but do you know how to add color to plastic prototypes? Today, in this blog, we will share the answers to you.

Color plastic
Color-plastic

Spray Painting

Spray painting is a simple and cost-effective process used to add color to plastic parts. Using spray guns with air pressure to disperse into uniform and fine droplets and apply the painting to the surface of the object. For plastic prototype or products, Painting options commonly include matte, satin, high-gloss, textured and UV coatings.

How To paint plastic prototype step by step?

Step 1: Prepare the workspace and Equipment.

Spray paint is bad for health to inhale, and the overspray and dust can easily land on nearby surfaces, So you need to prepare a workspace with enough space where there is a good ventilation condition. Meanwhile, you need to ware mask and prepare the related equipments such as paint, spary gun, Fine sandpapers, soak water, etc.

Step 2: Cleaning and Sanding the Surface of prototype

Clean the surface of plastic prototype with a sponge or cloth Soaked with soapy water to remove dust, dirt, and other particles that could prevent the paint from adhering. After it completely dry, use fine-grit(around 200 grit) sandpaper to sand the surface of the plastic. in the last, wipe the surface by cloth to remove dirt, dust, and plastic particles from sanding.

Step 3: Spray the First Coat of Paint

Shake the can of paint, then use Spray gun sweep back and forth over the object in a vertical or horizontal motion to apply a thin and even coat to the surface. once the paint cover the surface evenly, let the paint dry for around 30 minutes.

Stpe 4: Apply a second coat of paint

Repeat the paint process to apply a second coat of paint to make sure engough paint thickness and cover on the surface of plastic prototype evenly.

Step 5: Curing the part in an oven

Put the plastic prototype with paint in the oven , set it to 50 degree to cure the paint for at least 2 hours. if you do not have the oven, then you need take more time to let the paint to cure at room temperature.

Tips for Painting

  • Read instruction from the label of paint Can. Painting steps may vary because of different type of paint.
  • Spray From a distance, Hold the can or spray gun around 40cm from the object.
  • when use regular spray paint, Using a plastic primer before painting can prevent the paint from peeling.
  • Keep the spray light to avoid drips.

What is the best paint for plastic?

Krylon Fusion for Plastic or Rust-Oleum Specialty Plastic Primer Spray are the most common used spray paint you can use for painting on plastic prototype. but In many cases, you can use general-purpose spray paint, such as Krylon Paint + Primer or Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint for more color options to choose.

best paint for plastic

Dyeing Acrylic protoype

When making clear plastic protoype such as PMMA, Dyeing with water-based dyes make the best aesthetic and technical solution for acrylic plastic products. Dyeing can make more fine surface with a longer-lasting color than painting and keep the transparency of the clear acrylic plastic prototypes. this is because dyeing result in the chemical interaction between a dye and surface of plastic.

How to dye acylic prototype step by step?

Step 1: prepare a big enough size metal tank with boiled water inside.

Step 2: Pour the dye well prepared into it, take your stirring rod and combine them until the dye has dissolved. 

Step 3: Place the Acrylic Plastic prototype Into the Dye with tongs, make sure all surfaces of acrylic plastic are fully immersed without causing any damage or scratches on them.

Step 4: Keep the Dyeing Process for at least 20-minute soak or longer for better diffusion and a longer-lasting effect .

Step 5: After dyeing the acrylic plastic in the tank, submerge the part it in cold water to finish the dyeing process.

Step 6: Dry the acylic plastic prototype

Tips for Dyeing Acrylic

  • Read the instruction of dye to follow
  • if no specific instruction, Mix water to dye in a 3:1 ratio
  • Remember to wear gloves when touching the dye
  • if you want to increase color intensity, Prolonged immersion into the dye tank

What is the best dye for Acrylic plastic?

Rit dye is very popular for dyeing plastic materials very well , especially the black dye. Rit can usually be found in the local store and online shop, it is available in different pigments should you desire an alternative color.

Rit dye

How to Color plastic for injection molding prototypes?

Painting and dyeing are two methods for post-finishing after the plastic prototype done. there is another option to color the plastic pellets for inejction molding prototyes, These plastic pellets can be mixed with dye pellets before they are melted and injected into a mold. there are mainly four methods to color the pllets as below:

  • Color Compounding: This process integrates the colored pigment in the plastic resin pellet from the moment of its creation.
  • Masterbatching: this is to mix the colored pellets with uncolored pellets in a certain proportion.
  • Solvent Coloring: It means the spraying on uncolored pellets with a solvent mixed with the required pigment in certain ratio.
  • Dry Pigment Mixing: this is to use dry pigment powder mix directly with the pellets in the injection machine.

Conclusion

Coloring plastic prototype reqiures skills to get a perfect result for the engineers to verify the right color of the design. KUSLA has over 10 years experiences in plastic prototyping with painting , dyeing capabilites in house. if you need prototypes with perfect color as your design, contact us now to get an instant feedback.

FAQ

Can you paint molded plastic?

Yes, molded plastic part can be painted with the specific paint. this process requires professional team with the proper equipment and an experienced staff.

How do you make paint stick to plastic permanently?

Using a good primer, it will help a lot the paint stick to plastic and make it stay on it permanently.

Can you dye polycarbonate parts?

No, Polycarbonate is not good for dyeing to get a perfect colored surface.

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Request A Quote

Get in touch with our professional team today, and we will respond to you within 24 hours.

Employees of Kusla.

Gang Liu

Marketing Director

Employees of Kusla.

Hua Liu

Project Manager

Employees of Kusla.

Yiyang Zhao

Project Manager

Employees of Kusla.

Lu Wang

Technical Sales

Employees of Kusla.

Anming Li

Technical Sales

Employees of Kusla.

Xiaoli Wu

Technical Sales

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
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