I just watched two videos that have inspired me.

My printer has been collecting dust for a year because I really didn’t really have anything I wanted to print. I printed so many things over the last three or so years and I just give them away. I still have plastic everywhere so I was uninspired but these two videos gave me an idea to make earrings again which I haven’t done since the 80’s.
​​​​​​Metal Plate 3D Prints with Nickel and Copper - YouTube

Wow, that could keep you busy for a long while.

This sounds like a lot of fun. I am always interested in mixed-material projects. Just like the saying just because you have a hammer everything is not a nail. Just because you have a 3d printer you shouldn’t limit your maker projects to plastic.

It is going to be a challenge because my brain isn’t cooperating lately. But maybe I need the challenge. My Ender 3 pro has been collecting dust and is waiting for me to finish installing the new fan and organizing my wiring so it doesn’t strangle anyone passing by when it’s running.
I used to be a hippy jewelry maker in Spain the seventies and then I became a yuppie jewelry maker in California in the early 80’s so I actually think I could do well making and selling earrings with metal electroplating. I had already discarded the idea of doing them in pure plastic but if I can get the results this fellow does I can sell earrings all day. What is really good is I have everything except the ear pulls (which I can get tomorrow from Amazon).
So basically I have nothing to lose but my time.
It is good if earrings are light because many ladies like big flashy earrings. I have enough materials to make a million pairs of earrings and of course I can do amulets and bracelets and whatever with the latest meme. I’m thinking off Trump earrings.
I don’t need to buy any silver I could plate my apartment block with all the silver I have. An ounce can plate a 59 Cadillac. Copper wire is everywhere and they say you can plate brass. That would get me three colours without buying some gold.
Now I need to kick myself in the arse and actually do something for a change.

By the way I don’t seem to be receiving notifications. I shall report it if Irv doesn’t see this.

As the British say “In for a penny in for a pound.” I ordered $160 Can of stuff I need to actually do this from Amazon and it is supposed to arrive today. I need some silver wire which will come tomorrow.

I am the sort of a maniac that always needs a project that excites him and is challenging. When my materials arrive I will test out the premise that I can plate in my kitchen with non really corrosive substances and so cheaply.

In the 80’s I was screwing around with electroplating to see if I could make some money from it. I was plating gold marajuana leaves which was very in at the time.
I was buying very expensive solution and totally forgot about plating while I did other techniques to feed my family for a few years.

Earrings are the best jewelry seller though I will make other things like bracelets and amulets etc. I will take photos and market on Etsy. I won’t need to keep a huge inventory and marketing can be easily done.

The change in the look and the feel of the object is what I am counting on.

Wow the electrolyte of peroxide and vinegar and a dose of salt really works fast!. I would never have guessed I could get such results with a AC/DC 6 V adapter. I shall be plating my first plastic in a few hours.

Good for you. Look forward to seeing your results. BTW, how do you make the plastic conductive, so it can be plated?

Graphite powder and alcohol is what he used. I am already to plate something in a few more hours when the electrolyte is ready. It is really turning blue fast. I used to have a proper electroplating device but I think I can do just as well with what I have. This is fun. I will have to wait for my silver wire to arrive to hold the coin anode I will be using.
I will have fun seeing how many earrings I can plate at a time. I couldn’t find my aquarium pump and the bubbler so I will buy a cheap one from amazon.
He seemed to be plating an object in 20 minutes. Maybe he has more amperage than I have. That can affect the time it takes and also the surface area of the object.

But you have to be careful not to use too much amperage or the plating will be too porous.

I am going to do what he says and play with the distance. I will also play with the shape of the sacrificial anode. I will probably run the electrolyte solution all night and day till my aquarium pump gets here. I think that will help a lot.
I would have played with electroplating a whole lot more in the 80’s but I had to spend my time making enough jewelry to sell and support a family and a dog and a cat.
My solution is getting bluer and bluer as the copper sulphate forms.

I shall order some brass wire because he says you can plate some alloys. Too bad I don’t have my old wedding ring that would have made a good sacrificial anode.

I made a stab at plating a little plastic figure and I found two problems. Actually I found that I should have remembered to use acrylic paint as a binder with the graphite.

The other thing is the PLA I’m using floats like a cork and I need to be able to submerge them and held steady with as minimal contact as possible that I have to clean up after.

My copper sulphate solution is very dark blue.

I seem to have found a good binder for my graphite. Elmer’s white glue. I am in the process of copper plating a maple leaf and it seems to be working nicely.

Looking forward to seeing the results.

Here is another video where high-end plating materials were used. Again, the basic concepts are the same. The results are spectacular.

I think I am going to try and design and plate of earrings for a future video. Thanks for suggesting this exciting idea. Some much to do, so little time :slight_smile:

Palladium is an expensive barrier metal to use under gold. When I ran a circuit board manufacturing plant in the late 70’s, we used nickel to undercoat gold. The gold was ridiculously expensive, but we only plated 100 millionths of an inch to create the gold fingers on circuit board edge connectors.

They say ( the fanous they) you can plate a 59 Cadillac El Dorado with one oz of gold.

I believe it. Gold can be plated very thinly and still look like, well, gold.