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Painting an Ultimaker

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I what to paint my UMO, but not sure what paint to use, obviously I want one that can handle the temperatures of an enclosed UMO and will not easily chip off onto my prints. I also would prefer not to disassemble the entire printer to paint the side panels... So, it looks like I will be painting it by brush while still assembled.

What paint should I use? Any type of brush recommended?


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I painted my OMO using white spray paint, you can see the results in my gallery...

I took the whole printer apart for it, and it was a somewhat huge task...

Though the end finish is very nice, Im not sure I would recommend the method to others...

I also did a few mistakes which made it more complex that it needed to have been, but I had never really painted anything of that size before, so it was also a learning experience...

Some of what I learned:

I started by disassembling the printer and sanding the wood lightly to remove any small fibers sticking up (be sure to remove any dust afterwards before painting), I think this is a good idea regardless of painting method.

Having read that many thin layers of paint is better than one thick one, I tried this approach but had horrible results... The second layer of paint would curl up in weird spider web patterns (actually somewhat cool, if I would have been able to replicate the effect consistently).

I dont know if it was just the paint, or some humidity thing, if it could have been avoided with a primer, or what, but I had to sand those pieces back down and start over, this time using a single thick layer of paint which looked a lot better, and had a very shiny and even surface.

I first had some pieces laying on sheets of newspaper and painting from the top, but the the thick paint layer would seep and run down under the pieces and stick the newspaper to them, which was hell... So don't do that.

I ended up sticking pin needles in a piece of cardboard and placing the wood pieces on those... This worked great, but was somewhat tiresome and not that stable.

The spray paint won't adhere to the burnt sides of the pieces of the wood, so I had to apply a very thin layer of some wall paint I had laying around, to those first.

The spray paint adhered nicely to this paint and the sides were easy to paint with the pieces raised up on the needles, the result is a nice "complete" look... Like the printer is made of ceramics or something :)

Long story short Im very happy with the result, but it was a lot of hard work, and Im sure there are better ways to achieve the same or almost the same... Maybe if you are not a paint noob like me, you can do better.

What I have seen a lot of people do is to paint the raw wood using latex water based colors applied with a brush... Its not as much painting as it is dying the wood, and the result is also widely different than mine, but I still think its a lot easier, and can look good. You will preserve the dark burned look of the sides and you will still be able to tell that its made of wood (you have to look closely at mine now to be able to tell this).

The dye process is described here on the Ultimaker wiki: http://wiki.ultimaker.com/Painting_Your_Ultimaker

Im guessing that if you are meticulous and careful, you could even do this with the machine assembled (just removing all non-wooden parts)

Hope this helps :)

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I know everyone says don't paint it black because you won't be able to see the screw holes, but what if I paint it black on the outside and red or blue on the inside? I should still be able to see the holes if I have to disassemble the printer right?


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Im not sure what they mean by that (and actually havn't heard it before)...

If its about being able to reed the instructions, numbering etc. on the pieces, I call BS...

The smart thing is that all inscriptions, numbering etc. are ingraved into the wood using the laser cutter, rather than painted on or whatever...

So you can still see them after having painted on top of them...

Even with my thick layer of spray paint and sometimes multiple sandings, I can still see all the engravings (and to be honest with a little care when assembling, you probably dont even need half of them)

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I painted my one in a nice green but made a big mistake - I forgot to cover it with a layer of transparent varnish so over the time it became a bit of a "worn" look especially at the parts often touched or the top plate which gets easily dusty...

Nevertheless, painting it is absolutely worth :-)

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Printer is painted, used water based latex, but did not dilute it. I paid for a paint called "stealth black" that the local hardware shop mixed, but it turned out to be a dark chocolate brown when it dried... lol I don't think it looks bad though, just not the color I intended it to be. I will post pics if you guys want to see it.


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Here are some pictures of my printer that I painted. I used 2 different colors of water based latex paint and did not dilute it. I did two coats of paint and am fairly satisfied with how it came out. The outside was supposed to be "stealth black", but it came out more like a dark chocolate brown, still looks good though. I did a paint test on the spool holder and more coats did not seem to darken the paint anymore to get it to the advertised "stealth black" color.

Sorry for the inside of the printer looking so dirty, I tried to print without releveling the print bed after painting and it made a mess. In summary, it is possible to paint your ultimaker without taking it apart, but I still would be cautious not to get too much paint on the functional parts. I used a brush on most of the printer, but used Q-tips to apply paint around the motors and belts to try not to get paint on them. If you do get some paint on undesired areas, water based latex paint cleans off well with water or rubbing alcohol.

printer 1

printer 2

printer 3


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I just used regular latex paint but diluted it some so that, during assembly, crucial labels/markings/etchings were not covered up

I went with a color called "Pumpkin Custard", pretty close to a 'hunter orange'.

The beautiful thing is a cheap sample from Lowes is enough to paint the machine, with plenty of paint left over



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