Colours and surfaces in 3D printing (EN)

Colours and surfaces in 3D printing (EN)

What colours and surface properties are possible in 3D printing? Here you can learn everything about the possible appearance of your self-designed mobile phone case. The most important thing right at the beginning: On screens, colors usually look different than in reality. Therefore, please note that depending on your screen settings, the colours displayed may differ from the colours of your mobile phone case. Compare the sample images to find your favorite colour.

We divide the appearance into the following categories:

  • Rough white
  • Rough coloured
  • Semi-smooth
  • Smooth

Rough white
If you choose "white" and "rough", your phone case will neither be colored nor treated and will remain in its natural state after 3D printing (see picture of Huawei P Smart 2019). It is therefore the cheapest and fastest way to make your mobile phone case. The production time is approx. 8 working days and is reduced to approx. 4 working days with the "Priority" option. Because the raw material is white powder, your phone case will also be white. The typical fine layers remain visible as a distinguishing characteristic for 3D-printed products. This makes the surface slightly rough and therefore non-slip. Please note that other colours such as blue on new jeans can rub off on your white smartphone cover.

Huawei P smart case - Natural white

Rough coloured
To dye your phone case you can choose between 9 different colours. After the 3D printing process your case will be dipped into a colour bath and the outer material will be infiltrated. The layered structure remains visible and the grip remains the same. The colours look matt due to the rough surface. The production time is extended by one day to approx. 9 working days and with the option "Priority" your cover is produced after only approx. 5 working days. The colour tiles displayed in the configurator give you a preview of how the colour of your phone case will look like. The appearance of these displayed colours may differ from the real colours due to your screen settings. Check out the examples in the image below to find your favorite colour.

Colour overview 3D printed smartphone cases

For semi-smooth finishing your mobile phone cover is subjected to a sandblasting treatment befor the dyeing process. For this purpose, the case is sandblasted in a blasting chamber with spherical ceramic particles at high speed. This gives the surface a uniform colour and a smoother appearance. The layered structure becomes less visible and the surface feels smoother and softer. This treatment extends the production time by two days to approx. 10 working days. If you want it to be faster, the "Priority" option reduces the production time to approx. 6 working days. The option semi-smooth is not available for white colour but for all other colour options.

If you prefer polished surfaces, choose "smooth". So after 3D printing, your phone case will be processed in a drum with grinding elements. The grinding elements polish the surfaces so that the layered structure of the case is no longer directly visible. After the polishing process, your case will be dyed in the same way as with the "rough coloured" option. The surface then looks comparable to a conventional injection moulded plastic parts. Compared to the "rough coloured" option, the colours appear slightly brighter due to the previous polishing process. The production time is extended by two days to approx. 10 working days and with the "Priority" option to only approx. 6 working days. The option "smooth" is also available for non-coloured white smartphone cases.

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