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Posted · pla material strength


Hi & Welcome!

I really don't know how you could do that, but probably you might need to make a lost wax casting technique to get that level of strength !

For example... http://3dtopo.com/lostPLA/


this link didn't work . i want only plating not a full part of that element . only kind of electroplating or electro-less plating


There's a company in Italy that sells a kit for that (can't remember the name but google electroplating 3d printed part)

Also check



The expert on that on this forum it's definitely @cloakfiend


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    Posted (edited) · pla material strength

    Coating your parts in metal as I often do greatly improves the strength, even with cheap home DIY metal plating, but you must ensure a good even coat of at least 60-200 microns, where 200 would feel practically like solid metal anyways. This makes them completely warp proof polishable and depending on the thickness of the coat withstand temperatures of hundreds of degrees. I have not made mechanical parts like gears, but I assume they would easily last far longer than uncoated parts and potentially not degrade at all if not abused to much. if the coat is not complete then peeling may occur and slowly work its way around your model destroying it. The conductive coat before the plate is important and higher quality materials may ensure a better coat.

    If you plate an object, then you could even burn out the pla in an oven or even fireplace (if you have one) and be left with an empty shell.

    Partial plates are just the same procedures to complete plates, so there is no difficulty there.

    Edited by Guest
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    Posted · pla material strength

    I did it on an old print and early plate test but threw it away afterwards, I will try this soon again but my materials have changed and my plates aren't getting as thick as they used to unfortunately. I think the copper I'm using is not as pure as before or the conductive solution has become to contaminated ( I'm using cut up copper tubing for my copper and think its coated in something, rather than simply raw copper). Ill need to speak to people who actually specialise in this to understand whats happening and how to make a nice thick coat as is takes time and not as easy as a thin coat.

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