Prepare Graphics

Modifying graphics to fit parts 

 

We found transparent graphics to be problematic because it needs a good amount of ink to hold the image together as the PVA film dissolves.

 

So the best way to do transparent artwork is to simply add a light gray colored background. This is easy to do in software like photoshop or gimp.

For the best image resolution, to set your canvas resolution to at least 300 dpi and make sure to use the fine quality print setting for glossy paper. It’s also a good idea to check that the size of our parts can actually fit within the graphics on the page. So a little forethought and planning goes a long way.

2D Printing graphics

 

We’ll start by printing some graphics using a regular inkjet printer. We just need to print on the PVA side which is noticeably shiny. 

 

Textures and graphics work well when they have contrasting colors. We found this works better on parts that are 3d printed with light colored filament because that allows the ink to look the best.

 

After printing our graphics, we need to cut the paper down to size so it can fit inside our container.

Adding a handle

 

When dipping your parts, we found our hands and fingers can get in the way. So to make this work better, we recommend hot gluing a stick of some kind to the part. This will temporarily act as a handle so we can dip without getting our fingers in the way.

 

While the hot glue dries, we’ll prepare the container with water. We’ll use hot water because that will help dissolve the PLA. Just make sure the container is large enough to fit your parts.

This guide was first published on Jun 07, 2017. It was last updated on Jun 07, 2017. This page (Prepare Graphics) was last updated on Aug 16, 2019.