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Some of your Questions:

The Metalise it...process developed in house by 3DDC is a coating technology that plates a composite metal material onto a plastic offering a structural coating as well as an improved cosmetic finish. The technique used is a specifically adapted electroplating process.
3DDC can currently apply the Metalise it ... process using a full range of standard composite metal materials. Please follow the link.
RP materials: The materials used to build parts with the most common RP processes - such as stereolithography (SLA), Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), and Perfactory - work extremely well, untreated, with the Metalise it ... process. Plating of aluminium filled materials is currently under research.

Objet Polyjet process: It should be noted that a special pre-treatment is required for Objet's custom materials for the Polyjet process. Very thin walled parts are not suitable.

Plastics: ABS, PEEK, PVC and APET have all been successfully coated using the Metalise it ... process. At this point not all plastics have been tested but it is highly likely that 3DDC will be able to coat your kind of plastic. 3DDC would be happy to test the feasibility of any plastic material, to do this please contact the company and arrange to submit a material sample.

Special materials: Vacuum Cast resins, Epoxy or Polyester tooling block materials, glass fibre and carbon fibre parts operate very successfully with the Metalise it ... process.
Yes, preferred RP processes are SLA, which is suitable for high gloss surfaces; and SLS for technical applications based on the surface roughness of the parts produced using this method. The Perfactory process of Envisiontec is also a process that produces small parts with excellent surface finish, which is suitable for high gloss surfaces.

Parts that have proved to be more difficult to coat are those produced using the Polyjet process. However, it is not impossible to get around this and Polyjet parts can have a special treatment applied upfront, which then make them plateable. Very thin walled parts are not suitable.
Generally yes. The following are common modifications that need to be made:

• The part to be coated will need to be built to offset the required plating thickness.
• Parts need to be completely cured / washed. If not fully cured blistering may appear.
Technical finish: Removal of support structure remove the build layers with up to 240 grade (click here for diagram)

High Gloss finish: Remove of support structure / build layers and finish up to 400 grade wet and dry. Imperfections need to be repaired. (click here for diagram)

The Metalise it... process will not hide any kind of build layers or imperfections. It just replicates the quality of the model that is beneath.
3DDC recommends coating thicknesses between 20 and 200µm, based on experience. Layer thicknesses greater than 200µm may lead to distortion of the part itself. The uniformity of the metal deposition can differ based on the geometry of the part. Please request our expertise for the best layer thickness to get the best performance out of your models.

Please always take into account your required plating thickness and ensure that you offset your parts accordingly.
The Metalise it... process can add specific advantages to any plastic part.

• The material properties of the part can be drastically improved, such as stiffness, rigidity, long term stability and so on.
• New fields of application can be achieved by coating a plastic part, for instance electrical shielding and partial plating.
• The model can be used in decorative applications.
• Value engineering can be implemented for existing models for example by reducing wall thicknesses, eliminating extra features, etc.
3DDC is happy to consult on specific projects that require partial plating. Generally, depending on the requested area and the geometry of the model it is possible to plate sections of a model. However, for transparency, it should be noted that because partial plating requires an additional step in the process, costs may increase.
The largest parts that can benefit from the Metalise it ... process are 1500 x 700 x 700 mm (length x width x depth).

Coating thickness decreases rapidly when plating in a deep, narrow section or recess.
The optimum part size is smaller than 700 x 700 x 400 mm (length x width x depth).

This is based on our process set up sizes.
Please feel free to send your CAD files (MGX, STL, IGES) to 3DDC to request a quotation. Please state which RP / plastic material will be used, number of parts / batch size, required plating finish and any other special requirements.

We will get back to you within half a day with a detailed quotation and possible lead time as well as any special recommendations.

Contact: 3DDC