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 Post subject: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:23 pm 
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Hi all,

I looked on the forum and didn't see anything covering this, so I thought I'd ask it straight away.

I've seen many videos on YouTube showing a shapeways wsf puzzle being dyed with Rit black dye to turn the puzzle black.

Just curios, bur why not just order the puzzle In BSF (black strong and flexible) instead of using white in the manufacturing process and coloring it later.

There is a topic on this page about dyeing a white mass produced puzzle to black as well. I guess I can understand this if the puzzle doesn't come in black and that's the color you prefer, but if you can make your puzzle black through shapeways, why not do it then?


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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:36 pm 
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BSF is more expensive. I've never seen a BSF print in person but I faintly recall someone saying BSF doesn't look as nice as dyed WSF. That may be my mind playing tricks on me though.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:51 pm 
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BSF has a tendency to look more like a dark blue, and I've consistently been able to get puzzles that are blacker by dyeing them myself. I would consider ordering in BSF if the price difference were just a couple dollars, but a 25% increase in price is a bit much for 30 minutes of work dyeing and the negligible cost of dye.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:31 am 
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BSF (or RSF or PSF see here) are just dyed versions of WSF - the underlying material is the same. As it is simple and cheap to dye WSF at home, why pay Shapeways to do it?

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:29 pm 
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I have no problem with white puzzles, but only white is available as polished version.
So if you are looking forward to a well turning black puzzle, better spend the money for WSF polished and dye it yourself.
And on polished pieces stickers hold much better.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Gus wrote:
As it is simple and cheap to dye WSF at home, why pay Shapeways to do it?
Exactly what I was going to say.

will_57 wrote:
BSF has a tendency to look more like a dark blue
I know this was the case a few years ago. A small piece on my Celtic Cube went down the drain when I was rinsing the parts after dyeing them. I ordered a new piece, but since I didn't want to dye just one piece, I had it done in BSF. It was significantly less black than the parts I dyed myself. With a sticker on it, it looked fine. But I was still a little miffed.

However, back in January, they said on their blog that they have upgraded the dye they use to make a deeper black. I haven't tried this yet. Someone who has should post some pics here.

-Eitan

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Speaking of dyeing WSF black, with a high enough concentration of Rit dye I haven't had any trouble dyeing sanded + polished pieces. Even when they start out white and smooth. I'm using a dye bath with 5 packs of Rit dye and boiling the pieces for more than an hour. I boil the water level down to a point where it isn't covering the pieces anymore. As long as you make sure there is enough water left to keep the pot temperature from rising this is safe.

I'm curious if vinegar would help the dye to take. It is really common to dye nylon with mild acid baths and there is a good chance the vinegar would help.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:44 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
will_57 wrote:
BSF has a tendency to look more like a dark blue
I know this was the case a few years ago. A small piece on my Celtic Cube went down the drain when I was rinsing the parts after dyeing them. I ordered a new piece, but since I didn't want to dye just one piece, I had it done in BSF. It was significantly less black than the parts I dyed myself. With a sticker on it, it looked fine. But I was still a little miffed.

However, back in January, they said on their blog that they have upgraded the dye they use to make a deeper black. I haven't tried this yet. Someone who has should post some pics here.

I had the same thing happen to me, except it happened just over a month ago. (I also decided to design and get printed a better drain that I could use so that I wouldn't lose parts in the future) The color difference is very subtle, to the point that it is unnoticeable when the puzzle is stickered, and to the point that I'm struggling to get a picture that shows the difference. I would still say that one can achieve a darker black by dyeing the parts rather than having Shapeways dye them, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:30 pm 
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will_57 wrote:
I would still say that one can achieve a darker black by dyeing the parts rather than having Shapeways dye them, though.
And that is why I don't order BSF any more. Just try it and see how easy it is!

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:21 pm 
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I dyed Eitan's Curvy Copter black last night.. I used 2 pacs of Rit dye a cup of vinegar and added a heaped tablespoon of salt and added water to cover the parts, simmered for 1/2 hour, removed from solution and let them dry overnight and rinsed them in the morning. (I kept the remaining solution for reuse). I can't imagine a better job, they are as black as coal. I have started a light sanding with 800 wet and dry (on some small corrugates from the printing) and the dye penetration is less than I expected so I will need to re-dye them (but that would be normal penetration). After reading Brandon's post^^, I'll just sand them first in future. I only dyed them first because I was worried about the dye taking.

Cheers,
Burgo.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Thanks all.

I didn't realize the price for black was so much higher than white.

Do they dye the pieces after they print them in white, or do the pieces get created in black from the beginning? Perhaps that would mean that dye would have to be added to the powder if thie final print was black with no dyeing required post printing.

So, I guess when it comes to this particular material, everything shapeways makes is white, and it is up to the person placing the order if they want shapeways to dye it or to dye it themselves.

Thanks for all the info!


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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:13 am 
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bmenrigh wrote:
Speaking of dyeing WSF black, with a high enough concentration of Rit dye I haven't had any trouble dyeing sanded + polished pieces. Even when they start out white and smooth. I'm using a dye bath with 5 packs of Rit dye and boiling the pieces for more than an hour. I boil the water level down to a point where it isn't covering the pieces anymore. As long as you make sure there is enough water left to keep the pot temperature from rising this is safe.
Interesting, but that is a mighty strong dye solution!
bmenrigh wrote:
I'm curious if vinegar would help the dye to take. It is really common to dye nylon with mild acid baths and there is a good chance the vinegar would help.
Well, after a bit of research it seems that nylon is normally dyed using an acid dye (see here and a very interesting and practical one here). It seems that Rit dye consists of two parts, only one of which (the "acid" part) can actually dye nylon. Perhaps we should be using these acid dyes? You can buy them here (only $12 for an 8oz tub!) and here. I don't think that just adding vinegar will be the best way :(
Burgo wrote:
I have started a light sanding with 800 wet and dry (on some small corrugates from the printing) and the dye penetration is less than I expected so I will need to re-dye them (but that would be normal penetration). After reading Brandon's post^^, I'll just sand them first in future. I only dyed them first because I was worried about the dye taking.
I have always had poor results dyeing WSF after sanding, I don't know why. I suppose the sanding could alter the nylon by heating it, or it becomes less porous. And heavy sanding after dying does not work because the dye penetration is only about 100 microns. The only pre-dyeing treatment of WSF I have found which does not effect the take-up of the dye is brushing with a brass-bristled brush.
rubikrelic wrote:
Do they dye the pieces after they print them in white, or do the pieces get created in black from the beginning? Perhaps that would mean that dye would have to be added to the powder if thie final print was black with no dyeing required post printing.
I think that any dye added before the laser sintering would be degraded and also foul up the heating process. I think that Shapeways use a dye bath, because BSF is not black all the way through.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:12 am 
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So far I have never tried dyeing WSF. I have either bought black puzzles directly from the designers or bought BSF from Shapeways.
Everybody seems to agree that dyeing WSF with RIT dye is easy.
So, I'm ready to try it on my next puzzle.
I looked for RIT dye and found this on Ebay
http://www.ebay.de/itm/Rit-Dye-Fabric-P ... 231a3e33d3
Is this the right stuff (powder) or should I go for Liquid Dye http://www.ebay.de/itm/Rit-Liquid-Fabri ... 3a64db63a9 ?

May I ask other Germans or Europeans what they recommend?
(RIT dye on Amazon or Ebay is not expensive, but the shipping costs something.)

Who has experience with the acid dye Gus talked about?

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:14 am 
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Always use the powder. From what I've heard from others, the liquid dye has a tendency to not work properly. I buy mine from eBay.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:19 am 
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I use Dylon Ebony Black. It comes in these little tins:
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I can find them locally at various stores (cosmetics/health store, dry cleaning shop, tailor). One tin cost about 2-3 euros and will dye up to 3 puzzles (you should use all of it at once).

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Burgo wrote:
I used 2 pacs of Rit dye
bmenrigh wrote:
I'm using a dye bath with 5 packs of Rit dye and boiling the pieces for more than an hour.


WOAH! Stop right there, you two. There is no way that you need that much dye or that much time.

Even for my largest puzzles, I use no more than 1/3 of a pack of Rit dye and boil the parts for no more than 10 minutes. And my pieces come out a deep, dark black.

Really, that is crazy overkill, guys.

-Eitan

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:46 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
Burgo wrote:
I used 2 pacs of Rit dye
bmenrigh wrote:
I'm using a dye bath with 5 packs of Rit dye and boiling the pieces for more than an hour.


WOAH! Stop right there, you two. There is no way that you need that much dye or that much time.

Even for my largest puzzles, I use no more than 1/3 of a pack of Rit dye and boil the parts for no more than 10 minutes. And my pieces come out a deep, dark black.

Really, that is crazy overkill, guys.

-Eitan
Yes I should have clarified a bit. I'm re-using my dye bath from puzzle to puzzle. I need that much because there have been a few times where I dye 5+ big puzzles at at once so the pot has many liters of water just to cover the pieces. It's not about how much dye but what the concentration is.

Also, I've dyed more than 20 puzzles with this dye bath now. I put a lot of work into recovering dye but I still don't know how much the concentration has been reduced. Maybe it's only 3 packs worth of dye now? Maybe it's 4.5 packs? I'll only know how much the reduction is when I go to dye and it doesn't do a good job.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:40 pm 
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I just wanted to show my results so far.. I'm only working with a few pieces to find a technique. I think I've settled with:

1. If the piece has pronounced surface corrugates, sand with 400 wet & dry.
2. Dye (now or last? It is just easy to see good results when it's dyed, but it might be `better` to dye last).
3. A light going over with 512E tool (the softest one) on Dremel, this does allow some getting into the crevices and light work on the centres of the flat surfaces- which have a tendency to escape block sanding due to inherent flexibility in the nylon.
4. A light Block sanding with 800 wet & Dry.
5. Polish with Dremel tool 414.
6. A hot bath in simmering water and detergent for 5 mins seems to get rid of all traces of polish from step 5.

Another thing that I have tried is burnishing with an object like a teaspoon, but my fingernail seems to be just as successful.

My goal in this has been to get a better surface texture with an efficent enough method (for sticker adhesion, smoother functionality and aesthetics). For the most part (except where pronounces corrugates have been present) I haven't been getting into the dye penetration so a second dye bath would not be needed. I have included the first photo so you could see the second dye bath penetrated the surface after sanding and polishing.

I don't know if it is more laborious than Brandon's tumbler, or really how the results compare, his photos are excellent and mine are average (so I can't see mine under magnification). I guess with any kind of sanding method you are able to target areas better, but I think the tumbler would get the deeper recesses and end up in better functionality. The best results may come from a light sanding or burnishing before tumbling?

I am interested in opinions about the process, or what polish might be potentially harmful to the nylon?

[Click on the photos to enlarge: they are `comparitive` so some pieces have had no work]

Cheers,
Burgo.


Attachments:
Rit Dye and sanding.jpg
Rit Dye and sanding.jpg [ 1.35 MiB | Viewed 2361 times ]

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PB 3x3 55sec Jan 2011 (When I was a kid 1:30 was speedcubing so I'm stoked).
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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:01 am 
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Burgo wrote:
I don't know if it is more laborious than Brandon's tumbler, or really how the results compare, his photos are excellent and mine are average (so I can't see mine under magnification). I guess with any kind of sanding method you are able to target areas better, but I think the tumbler would get the deeper recesses and end up in better functionality. The best results may come from a light sanding or burnishing before tumbling?

Yes, sanding and tumbling are an apples to oranges comparison. With sanding you can target areas that need the polishing with just the right amount of wear and you can achieve a smoother finish. Tumbling is hard to target specific areas but reaches all of the portions of the part and breaks the puzzle in for you.

I recently had a print that had some severe flaws that I had to sand down before I tumbled the puzzle. The results after tumbling were breathtaking. The sanded portions came out like polished granite.

The best results are going to come from sanding AND tumbling. You sand the big structures such as the printer aliasing (aka starstepping) and you let the tumbler evenly wear the rest of the parts.

With either sanding or tumbling or both you need to be aggressive with the dye to have it take.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:14 pm 
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I have another question re:wsf vs bsf

I think someone mentioned above that the wsf is smoother than the bsf.

Does that explain that awful sound that puzzles from shapeways in black make?

I'm not picking on Oskar, but most of his puzzles are black and he's someone everyone's probably seen at least one video of... the pieces move with a sandpaper-like sound, and it sounds like chalk on a blackboard to me.

Can you smooth the pieces down yourself, or do you have to just break the puzzle in and the rubbing sections will smooth themselves out?


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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:30 pm 
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rubikrelic wrote:
I think someone mentioned above that the wsf is smoother than the bsf.

Does that explain that awful sound that puzzles from shapeways in black make?

WSF is not any smoother than BSF. The puzzle smooths itself out with use, but polishing has also proved effective. The sound isn't a reason to not buy a Shapeways puzzle, though. It's not nearly as bad is it seems in some of the videos you've seen, and with breaking in, it becomes even less noticeable.

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 Post subject: Re: Why dye WSF to black when BSF is available?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Oskar dyes his puzzles separately from the printing process.
I have a puzzle from shapeways and the sound really isn’t that bad and goes away quickly if you play enough.


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