Dyeing, or dip coloring is a typical post-processing process in powder-based additive manufacturing. It is a purely chemical coloring process, without layer application.

Manual dip dyeing of additively manufactured Nylon 12 part

Dip Coloring at 3Faktur

Immersion dyeing takes place in industrial, heated tanks. At 3Faktur, both a manual process (usually for large parts or small quantities) and an automated process carried out by robot are used. Both processes and solutions are proprietary developments.

Available colors: Currently, only black. Further color options are in development.

Manual dip dyeing of a grey 3D printed part

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How it works

The dye is in dissolved form in a heated bath. The parts are fed into the bath and the liquid is agitated to prevent deposits and to obtain a homogeneous result. This process takes only a few minutes. After dyeing, one or more cleaning steps are carried out, followed by drying of the components in a drying chamber.

All dyed parts are subjected to a second blasting step, the shot peening to optimize the surface quality.

gray, black and chemically smoothed component

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3D printed Nylon 12 case of a drilling machine dyed black and shot peened
3D printed Nylon 12 robotic end-of-arm tool dyed black and shot peened
3D printed Nylon 12 generic pipes dyed black and shot peened

The coloring is used for visible components. Unprocessed PA 12 is gray after production. The gray is rather inhomogeneous and not recommended for visible parts. Dyeing is used to achieve a homogeneous coloring of the component.

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Special Features

Due to the popularity in the industry for black components, the coloring for this color has been largely automated. This allows very high replicability and low unit costs.

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FAQ Dip Dyeing

Are black PA 12 parts completely black?

Yes, the black-colored PA 12 components are completely black as a result, even on the inside.

Is a layer applied?

No, a layer is not applied, the dyeing is done chemically.

Can dyeing be used for components with medical applications?

As of 02/2023, there are no biocompatibility certificates for the dyes. Therefore, an application in this field is not recommended.

How deep is the coloring?

The dyeing depth is approx. 0.1 mm. For PA 12 (gray) this is sufficient to completely color the components, since they are already black on the inside. For PA 12 W in contrast, only the surface is colored, the components are white inside.

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