"Simulated Metal Work"

OK, so we know that we’re not going to be able to do much in the way of metal craft with the GF. But that’s OK! If you want a metallic look, modern master’s paints give a pretty good result in many different types with patina options.

Electroforming/plating is another option for that metallic look. Here is a nice little video for those unfamiliar with the topic electroforming. I have all the parts to set up a station, now, I just need to get the chemicals.

Does anybody else have projects that used either of these techniques with? Or Inspirations to share?


Funny that you should mention this, because I’ve started a new project to supplement what the glowforge cannot do. I figure that the glowforge could be used to carve accurate molds, and then use sand casting to make 3 dimensional objects. Ahhh, molds - the tried and true ancestor of 3d printing
[Mini Founry](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHD10DjxM1g)
Melting Cans
Giant Magnifying glass

Ok, so I may have a problem with fire… :wink:


We’re wrapping up a project on Kickstarter today - a simple cast iron cable manager ‘thing’. We used 3D printed parts to use as the casting patterns - worked great. Hoping we can integrate the Glowforge in these processes as well in the future.


I haven’t had time to do any casting yet, but have a nice crucible & an old forge I need to reline. I have a supply of old truck leaf springs that I beat into woodturning tools from time to time. I make my own charcoal. Nice links. I saw one a while back where a kid took a small satellite dish & mirror pieces and made a really nifty reflective solar death ray. So far I have the mirror.

I may have a problem too :grinning:


Simple & easy, great product design! Excellent video too!

Thanks - it’s a little company my son and I started a few years ago - he does the video work and a lot of the photos… packs boxes at the end. Everything is manufactured within 100 miles…


Take a look at Rowmark engraving acrylic, definitely vector cuttable, with very realistic gold and silver finishes.
I will be using it for clock plates and wheels.

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As far as simulating metal, there is always vinyl. Can’t cut it in the glowforge, but you can use it to decorate or wrap a whole lot of stuff after it has been manufactured.

Like this lambo:


I spent some time thinking about cutting carving wax, for lost wax casting jewelry.
Most folks warned me off saying that the wax would be hard to control, so at this point I am looking at cutting delrin molds to inject wax into.


From my model kit building experience I can recommend :
Testors Model Masters Metalizer paints

They have a really nice realistic finish, some of these you have to buff to achieve the final result. They can also be used with an airbrush. They have some in spray cans, but their selection is limited.

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My daughter likes to electroform spiders. Preferably black widows. Icks me out, but if you tell me the GF has a setting to eliminate spiders from a distance, then I can get on board with that.


Ha ha, I don’t think their legal department would pass that function. Look up laser shotgun though, if you’d like to do a little spider wrangling. My spiders are usually pretty harmless, so I leave them alone for the most part. I have a few though, that seem to think they’re decorating for a horror movie. :grimacing:

I have absolutely no idea what this means but I am fascinated.

Electroforming is basically really thick plating. You paint the spider with conductive paint and then stick it in a tank of metal salts as the cathode of a low voltage/high current circuit with a metal bar as the anode. Then you wait. You can electroform almost anything that won’t dissolve in the (usually) acidic solutions as long as you have a good conductive paint that will stick.

@dan, these are natural materials that had copper electroformed onto them. https://cassymuronaka.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/easy-electroforming-with-e3-etch-2/


That is seriously wild.

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I was trying to find a shorter video than the one I originally linked at the start of this topic. I’ve got to say I’m amazed at the number of them that involve devices that make bubbling noises & smoke. I was also thinking of using electroforming in this context as well. Electroforming process thickfilm By using the GF to cut patterns to be filled in with metal.

Not as fancy as electroplating, and probably way messier (and less durable?), but you could probably use gold or silver leaf to make something you’ve made look metallic. I think they make different metal toned leafs as well, like rose gold, brushed nickel, and that sort of thing.

I think that (leaf) might give a good effect in engraved clear acrylic, if one could find a clear gesso. I was thinking of stacked layers of plastic visible from all sides possibly?

same technique that is used in preserving baby booties. I believe it’s also called bronzing.

Interesting side note, but I got filmed by How It’s Made about a year ago when I was working for a fiberglass/resin air assist manufacturing company. They’re really nice Canadians. I think they were from Quebec.