Glitter Printing

by RichRap, published

Glitter Printing by RichRap Dec 22, 2011
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Glitter Printing by RichRap is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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This is a simple (But a bit messy) way to add some extra special sparkle to your printed objects.

All you need to do is sprinkle glitter onto a heated bed before printing with PLA - Clear PLA works great with all sorts of glitter colours but coloured PLA also works very well.

I have not tried ABS yet, but it should work just as well.

If you continue to sprinkle glitter as it builds (not too much) then your parts will have sparkle embedded all over them.

Have fun and brighten up your prints today!


It'll brighten up your prints and make someone's day special -
You can also embed other things like little plastic stars and other (thin) items, the PLA will just bond them into the first layer of the object. If you think of anything else to embed into prints, do let me know.

More details on my Blog post here - http://richrap.blogspot.com/2011/12/twinkle-twinkle-little-star-christmas.html

Youtube videos here - http://youtu.be/xev-hqZ505U

And Here - http://youtu.be/w_SmwPro_Cw

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Tried this today and while it does work really well, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, TURN OFF THE PART COOLING FAN. I forgot that I usually have it set up to turn on after the first layer and I'd put a nice pretty even layer of glitter down, it started the first layer and SO MUCH GLITTER EVERYWHERE OH GOD IT'S EEEEVVVVEEEERYYYWHERE.


Yes indeed, it would be very Nice to have some form of intricate dispensing device (vibrating?) for all sorts of joyousness-materials. I would foremost imagine a young Buddhist of the wrong mindset on some "boring" mandala would gnash his teeth, even though we all know who would draw the shortest straw on that one.. but secondly, it would be really interesting to see what stuff one could conjure up with glowinc's green powder. (AFAIK the strongest glow-in-the-dark-material available. Don't hesitate to speak up, back there!) I mean.. embedded uv-leds... and yes of course vary large mandalas dispensed on very slow curing epoxy.... know that is MIND=BLOWN if anything. (coughespecially licensed under a Free dito.cough)


WoW! 24Hours+ Glow rating! that's very impressive.

I didn't know you could get different coloured glow-in-the dark powders, I would love to see some Purple Glow PLA.

I just spotted the glow in the dark sand, that's very cool.

It should be quite possible to make a particle dispenser for a 3D printer, you could use a Piezo sounder to vibrate / distribute the contents where you need.

So far I have used that powder mixed with some cheapo fast curing transparent epoxy. I've put it on my keys, pesky powercords and other items one would possibly want in the dark, the.. thing you pull a zipper with and.. well.. lots more. It glows freaking a lot! As I have it on my zippers I find people stare at me when I stroll around in the evening. Intoxicated individuals get completely mesmerized = I actually feel saver walking around late nights. If you put it around the lens of a flashlight or on a UV-led, it glows ridiculous strong. Oh golly.. that was some wall of text advertisement.

And please kind Sir, I think it would be quite inspirational if someone would just poke around in creating a dispenser of this sort! Mandalas/pictures...

You could save yourself some trouble by just using glow in the dark filament directly, which I think just has some powder mixed in. But maybe your idea of adding powder as you print would end up brighter.

I've painted a few of the things I've printed with glow in the dark paint. It is maybe not quite up to the performance of glowinc, but it's supposed to be some pretty good stuff. I've been generally underwhelmed by the results. Even with the brightest paint (the classic green color), the glowin
g fades rapidly (exponentially?) over the course of several minutes. Within an hour I can't even tell it's glowing. This is under "typical" nighttime conditions. The multiple hour ratings they always give are in complete darkness, which seems to be lacking in my house!

But it is still cool stuff
and you have the right idea with embedding UV LEDs!

Having just now read a little about mandalas, I realize I may have misinterpreted your comment. Sorry, if so!

If you are suggesting some kind of CNC sand art creator, then indeed that would be very cool!

Yes indeed, imagine a dispenser of that sort and rotating head of sort to pick the right sand container, slow curing epoxy... I guess/would like to think that the dispenser would not be actually to be very have at all. If so, it would be not so difficult to print on tablesized areas.

Very clever idea. How well does the glitter adhere to the surface? Is it easy to brush off or does it stay put?

Now I have to wonder if someone will make an automated glitter sprinkler at some point :).

With a Hot build surface, the glitter stays on it well (even with a little air movement), you can still move it around to spread it out and when the Plastic moves over it gets bonded down usually only moving a fraction of a mm. and you can brush it off when the bes cools.

It's slightly more free-form when you sprinkle while it's moving and printing.

I'm going to try using a stencil to sprinkle the glitter in a pattern onto the bed, that should look nice.