We all want to 3D print metals, but the equipment to do it is still beyond most home shops. Nevertheless, [HEN3DRIK] he takes 3D printed resin items and electroplates them. It might not be as good as printing on metal, but it sure looks metallic. As you can see in the video below, the sword appears to be made of polished steel.
The sword comes out in four pieces. Repeat several times that sanding is the key because you must have flat surfaces. Using sandpaper and steel wool, he worked the pieces to a fine finish. The parts are assembled along an M8 threaded rod to form a whole. The next step was electroplating with copper.
The sword was large enough to require upgrading its normal electroplating configuration. Of course, the resin is not conductive, so an airbrush deposits a conductive lacquer before the parts enter the bath. A bit of copper wire also helps the process.
If you don’t like post-processing parts, this technique is not for you. There is a lot of sanding before and after electroplating. The plating itself requires patience, especially the copper plating. A very dangerous nickel plating process adds a shiny layer with a thin layer of palladium. An electroplating ballpoint pen adds gold accents.
The sword looks amazing, but it obviously wasn’t a quick one hour project. If you want to do electroplating, keep safety factors in mind, as some of the chemicals are pretty nasty.
The last time we checked in [HEN3DRIK] I was building a Star Wars prop. If he’s interested in a DIY electroplating pen, that’s been done as well.