After gold plated polished brass, we recently also started to offer a PU coated version. Unfortunately, natural PU coated brass is not living up to our expectations.
The sample we used to promote the natural PU coated brass turned out really nice. But the model had an ‘easy surface’. This means it only had to be cleaned (not polished) and PU coated. However, most of our designers are making challenging models. Those have to be cleaned, and polished before getting PU coated. Adding the polishing step turned out to give the models a different look.
The Tiki Chess Queen (made by Whystler) is a great example of a model that doesn’t have an ‘easy surface’. Below you can see the comparison natural PU coated brass (with the added polishing step) and gold plated polished brass.
The Tiki on the left is polished and PU coated while the right one is gold plated polished. Both have a goldish look, but the right one has more bling, it’s a lot shinier than the left one. The left one also appears to be less ‘scratch-sensitive’ due to the PU coating. Also notice the grooves in the model (e.g. the big smile) which are clearly darker on the left.
At this very moment, natural PU coated brass doesn’t stand for the quality and the service we purvey. Therefore, we decided to remove the option from the 3D print lab. We continue our research and keep looking for a more natural brass looking. Sandblasted brass has already been tested but it gives the model a plastic look.
Furthermore, we are experimenting with another way of finishing: magnetic polishing. This is going in the right direction, but it isn’t just yet the color we are after. We’re also trying to change the brass-composition to have a more reddish-shine after polishing. Fingers crossed.
Finally, we are considering offering brass with a raw finish, as it comes out of the mold: no coating is applied but it will oxidize in time when it’s not finished.
We love feedback so do let us know what you think (and want).