Flake Mother of Pearl inlay


Proving a concept, one Saturday afternoon.
@ianauch inspired project. This thread. Nacre is the mineral, lining the shells of Mollusks, it’s what a pearl is made of. (on a side note, an Octopus is a mollusk, with roughly the intellect of a cat. That makes it the genius of the family!)
ianauch was kind enough to post his source, and I would have it. The stuff is gorgeous. I was admiring it, and it hit me. Snowflakes.
I was originally thinking of wood, but the thought of the cool color of blue acrylic, and it won the day. Blue and teal :proofgrade: (the catalog says teal, the barcode sticker on it says Turquoise).

The new concept here is the bonding agent, Bondic. A UV curing compound that is about the viscosity of syrup.

The really cool thing about it is it stays fluid until hit with the near UV LED. Unlimited working time.
The pen tip is small so it fits well into detail. Flood the bottom of the default dark engrave, and sprinkle the flakes on.

Old wallpaper seam roller comes in handy.

Cure with the UV LED for a matter of seconds.

And sanded to level from 220 to 1500 wet or dry paper. Mask is really handy, acrylic is soft and dust will scratch it, so the mask is good protection - if you pay attention and don’t cut too far. In a jewelry inlay, nugget or chip, you cut both surfaces simultaneously to a perfect level. The inlay is still a couple of thousandths proud, but plenty close for a smooth feel.

There has never been a better tool for inlay than a laser, and there has never been a laser like glowforge. :sunglasses:


Oooooh! :star_struck:


The pics don’t do it justice.


Oh wow, I had not thought of UV curing glue (good stuff) for doing inlays. Pure genius.


wondering about the full cure, because if it’s shaded it won’t cure. Held a chip under light and sure enough, the flakes are translucent. I don’t know, but I presume a smaller wavelength would have even better penetration. Neat stuff to work with.

No man. I looked over and my eye landed on it… Hmmm.


Bondic is how I got introduced to this stuff but if you find your self using a lot of it, there are kits by other companies that are FAR more economical. You can get a fair sized bottle and a permanent UV flashlight pretty reasonable.


That’s good to know! They are proud of that $tuff.


Outstanding! What a perfect use for those flakes–I love this project.

Here’s the uv epoxy that I use–priced quite reasonably and you can cure it in the sun.


Hey, thanks for that link!



Here you go on what I was talking about.






Really, really pretty. That was a beautiful use for the material.


That is brilliant and amazing!

I dropped a few Bondic pens on Mark’s desk one day and I believe they’ve since become a staple around the hardware lab.


Very cool idea @PrintToLaser!! Thanks for sharing!




I’ve said it before … I love teal!!! Fabulous project!


That stuff is just resin that’s used in SLA/DLP 3D printers. You can get cheap resin around $50/liter with free shipping, (you can buy in half liter size, but usually runs around $30). $50 seems like a lot, but ends up being cheaper if you are going to be using a lot Bondic. And you can get the printer resin in various colors (translucent colors too).

There also laser pointers that can be used to harden the resin (The light needs to be 405nM) - usually under $10 on eBay.


Interesting, thanks for the tip!


That stuff sure beats the old school epoxy method where you had to play beat the clock!