In this project we’ll show you how to get iridescent effects on 3D printed parts.

You can get shiny rainbowlike surfaces on the bottom your 3D prints by printing on a special sheet.

In direct light, reflections look iridescent with rainbowlike patterns.

We think this works great for project enclosures, cases and faceplates.

These are diffraction grating sheets and they’re are mostly used in optics.

This film can have different number lines per millimeter and this actually splits light into separate beams of color. We used the Double Axis Diffraction Grating sheet 13,500 lines/inch.

The Single Axis sheets did not transfer any diffraction features.

This stuff has tons of applications from creating laser light shows to making spectrometers.

So you can get a roll of this stuff online and use it for making DIY arts and crafts.

Surface finishes 

We can achieve different surface finishes by printing on different types of material. When filament is extruded it takes the features and characteristics of the surface it'ss lay on, like a mold!

Diffraction grating sheets give a mix of a matte finish with glossy reflections.

Blue tape gives a matte finish with a leather like texture.

Heated glass offers shiny reflective surfaces that look and feel glossy.

Powder coated PEI leaves a curse looking texture with a matte finish.

Filament for 3D printers in various colors and types stacked together.
Having a 3D printer without filament is sort of like having a regular printer without paper or ink.  And while a lot of printers come with some filament there's a good chance...
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Author Notes

This technique was inspired by David Shorey (instagram, twitter). Follow David on social media to see more work and inspirational experiments.

This guide was first published on Jul 02, 2019. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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