3D Printing

The X-Tiles Video Series: Clear and Nickel-Plated 3D Prints, Pt. 3

Nickel plating is a common finish for CNC machined components, especially on metals like aluminum and steels, to prevent corrosion and add high wear resistance. Unbeknownst to many, nickel plating is also available for SLS nylon parts. Since nylon is plastic and the plating process needs a conductive surface, the first step is to cover a plastic printed part with a very fine coating of copper, then finish it with nickel. The material builds up to between +0.004”-0.006” on outer surfaces.

It is important to note that nickel plating 3D prints is not a cosmetic application or solution. Instead, the outer metal shell acts as an exoskeleton which provides EMI shielding and up to 5x increased strength on features. Because the nickel coat is a build-up on the material surface, it will show the inherent surface properties of SLS parts and will display an overall matte and grainy finish. Learn more by watching the video below.

The X-Tiles Video Series: Clear and Nickel-Plated 3D Prints, Pt. 3