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 Post subject: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:17 pm 
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I've tried searching for this topic but "dye" is not a useful search term.

A few months ago I dyed a Shapeways puzzle (Greg's ETRT) and it came out a little greyish. I took that as a hint that my dye bath needed a recharge. Subsequently, I had to replace some pieces and they came out a beautiful jet black. Here is the puzzle with a few of the new pieces:
Attachment:
ETRT-Piece-Replacement-1_sm.png
ETRT-Piece-Replacement-1_sm.png [ 226.87 KiB | Viewed 2579 times ]

Attachment:
ETRT-Jumbling-4-Unstickered_sm.png
ETRT-Jumbling-4-Unstickered_sm.png [ 287.79 KiB | Viewed 2571 times ]


The difference in contrast really doesn't bother me, however I'm at a point where I may completely disassemble the puzzle to fix an assembly issue that has been causing havoc. This would be a good time to remove the nasty sheen of silicone oil that got EVERYWHERE during break-in (and was really unnecessary). If I'm going to disassemble and wash the pieces, it is a short step to re-dye them so:
* Will very hot, soapy water remove the silicone oil or is there a better solvent?
* If I re-dye the pieces, will they likely get darker?

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:57 pm 
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I'll reply to part of my own post. One source advises using cornstarch to absorb the silicone oil.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Lots of soap and water should work great. I've removed silicone oil via soap and water a few times.

If you re-dye all of the pieces they should all get darker. It seems like there might be a texture difference between the dark pieces and the lighter ones. Is there? Did you sand or polish the lighter ones a bit? If you did it'll be hard to get them as dark as the new pieces.

For what it's worth, I've been dying parts with a pressure cooker at 15 PSI and it has been working great when the parts stay submerged. It achieves a pretty deep black even after polishing the parts. If the parts float of the surface though you will need some way of keeping them submerged in the cooker.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:01 pm 
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After some experimentation, I can say that the cornstarch, if it works at all, is not worth the cleanup effort for Shapeways pieces.

bmenrigh wrote:
Lots of soap and water should work great.
I appreciate your sharing your experience with me.

bmenrigh wrote:
...I've been dying parts with a pressure cooker at 15 PSI and it has been working great when the parts stay submerged.
Do you use vinegar in the dye bath? I wonder if there are any agitation/stirring systems for pressure cookers?

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:18 am 
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Pete the Geek wrote:
bmenrigh wrote:
...I've been dying parts with a pressure cooker at 15 PSI and it has been working great when the parts stay submerged.
Do you use vinegar in the dye bath? I wonder if there are any agitation/stirring systems for pressure cookers?

I haven't used vinegar in the cooker. It doesn't seem to be needed.

I also don't know how much the water mixes around when under pressure but the submerged pieces seem to dye very well. I've bought some mesh things to try to keep pieces submerged which will probably eliminate any need for stirring.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:25 am 
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bmenrigh wrote:
Pete the Geek wrote:
Do you use vinegar in the dye bath? I wonder if there are any agitation/stirring systems for pressure cookers?
I haven't used vinegar in the cooker. It doesn't seem to be needed.
If you use Rit dye, the website says that white vinegar is necessary for dyeing nylon.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:01 pm 
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After washing the pieces in hot (~95°C), soapy water and rinsing three times, the plastic spoon I was using was coated with a thick layer of oily residue - silicone oil! I think it is safe to say my dye bath is contaminated. No big loss, it was due for a recharge of dye anyway.

The re-dyed pieces came out great:
Attachment:
ETRT-Pieces-Re-Dye_sm.png
ETRT-Pieces-Re-Dye_sm.png [ 276.26 KiB | Viewed 2443 times ]


I dyed all the pieces, both old and new. It is hard to tell the original pieces from the new on the basis of colour. A few pieces have subtly lighter areas and I suspect this is the result of residual silicone oil. No issue using them.

I use a double-boiler to ensure that the temperature is consistent. I also use a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar (5% acetic acid).

As I understand it, the pressure cooker allows the process to work at a much higher temperature without the solution boiling away. It may produce more consistent colour, which is why I'm interested in the idea even though I don't process that many Shapeways puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Been following this for a little while, and I wonder.. isn't the higher temp putting the pieces at risk of warping or something?

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Pete the Geek wrote:
As I understand it, the pressure cooker allows the process to work at a much higher temperature without the solution boiling away. It may produce more consistent colour, which is why I'm interested in the idea even though I don't process that many Shapeways puzzles.

I've cut into dyed pieces and the dye only takes in an extremely thin layer around the surface of the piece. The pressure cooker runs at a higher temp which should open up the pores of the nylon better and force the dye deeper. I'm not sure how to objectively measure the difference though.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Kattenvriendin wrote:
Been following this for a little while, and I wonder.. isn't the higher temp putting the pieces at risk of warping or something?

The temperature isn't a concern at all. Pressure cookers only get up to about 122C / 250F but Nylon doesn't melt until a minimum of about 190C / 370F.

If the pieces are hollowed out (shelled) but there is no way for the pressure to normalize between the outside and inside I'm sure the pressure cooker would do a lot of damage.

The high temp might actually be partially breaking down the dye though. Every time I've used the pressure cooker, the dye+water is no longer a deep black but instead a partially transparent red / purple. I suppose it's possible the cooker is able to force almost all of the dye into the pieces but I think breaking down the dye a bit is more likely.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:26 pm 
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bmenrigh wrote:
I've cut into dyed pieces and the dye only takes in an extremely thin layer around the surface of the piece. The pressure cooker runs at a higher temp which should open up the pores of the nylon better and force the dye deeper. I'm not sure how to objectively measure the difference though.
I'd say dye them before you tumble them and measure the time till the white nylon appears. You may notice a difference that way.
bmenrigh wrote:
I haven't used vinegar in the cooker. It doesn't seem to be needed.
I would tend to think the vinegar may also help the dye go deeper. But beyond a certain depth I doubt there is any visual external differences.
bmenrigh wrote:
I also don't know how much the water mixes around when under pressure but the submerged pieces seem to dye very well.
The pressure just changes the boiling temperature. The action while boiling I would expect to look near identical. Have you ever tried to put a glass of water under vacuum? It will boil at room temperature and just by looking at it there is no obvious difference in the boiling action.

I'm also curious about the difference in performance between Rit Dye and the Jacquard Acid Dyes. I know in terms of colors, I've seen much better results from some of the Acid Dyes. With regard to black though I think most say the Rit Dye is better. But I have yet to try it for myself. Brandon have you tried the Acid Dyes yet?

And not really on topic but I'm still curious how the super glue experiment for sealing uncolored WSF is going... if its going.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:23 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
The pressure just changes the boiling temperature. The action while boiling I would expect to look near identical. Have you ever tried to put a glass of water under vacuum? It will boil at room temperature and just by looking at it there is no obvious difference in the boiling action.
Well when I boil in a normal pot I get the boil fully rolling as much as possible but in the pressure cooker you get it to just a simmer so that you don't vent too much. Also, to keep parts submerged I plan on putting them into quart mason jars with a mesh lid. I know keeping them submerged will help but I worry about only having just the opening at the top stopping dye convection / dispersion.

I tried to find reasonably sized and priced medical sterilization cages without much luck. There are so many specialty products in the medical field that finding a place that sells exactly what I want is hard.

wwwmwww wrote:
I'm also curious about the difference in performance between Rit Dye and the Jacquard Acid Dyes. I know in terms of colors, I've seen much better results from some of the Acid Dyes. With regard to black though I think most say the Rit Dye is better. But I have yet to try it for myself. Brandon have you tried the Acid Dyes yet?
I'd like to try them at some point. I really want to buy dye in bulk since Rit Dye is so expensive. I was recovering unused dye but it's just too much of a hassle and once I added vinegar to my dye bath it started growing a fungus. I'm sure bulk dye must be so much less expensive than 32 grams at a time like Rit Dye. I need to find a supplier of industrial nylon dyes.

wwwmwww wrote:
And not really on topic but I'm still curious how the super glue experiment for sealing uncolored WSF is going... if its going.
I tried many different things but I couldn't get a process that worked in bulk. It seems like you can seal one part at a time just fine but if you want to do them all at once I couldn't find a way to stop them from sticking together. Doing one at a time is just too much work.

Fortunately even though I turned the Curvy Copter Skewb I wast testing into a solid block of glue + parts, it was really easy to remove the glue with acetone. It seems no matter what you do you can't ruin them.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:37 pm 
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I've played around with the Jacquard iPoly dyes... nice deep colors...
the downside is that you really need to scrub/soak/scrub/soak/scrub the pieces after dyeing, otherwise
the dye will easily transfer to things around it. Not such a big deal on internal pieces, but really not nice
staining ones hands/clothes...

I still prefer RIT dye, even if it is less even colors...


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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:34 pm 
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As some follow up, here is the reassembled puzzle in a brightly lit photo photo that exaggerates the colour variations between the old and new pieces:
Attachment:
ETRT-Rebuild-Finished-1_sm.png
ETRT-Rebuild-Finished-1_sm.png [ 210.18 KiB | Viewed 2293 times ]


To recap, the old pieces were dyed and came out grey. The new pieces were dyed in a fresh dye bath and came out jet black. All of the pieces were washed in hot soapy water and rinsed three times to remove an excessive coating of silicone oil and were dyed again.

There is no evidence of silicone oil on the pieces, but some of the old pieces did come out with slightly uneven colour.

In the end, I'm happy I took the extra step to re-dye these pieces.

I think it would be helpful to create a dedicated pressure-cooker dying thread. For one thing, I want to know if it is reasonable to look for a second-hand pressure-cooker in a thrift shop or if the deterioration of the seals would make it too risky.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Pete the Geek wrote:
I think it would be helpful to create a dedicated pressure-cooker dying thread. For one thing, I want to know if it is reasonable to look for a second-hand pressure-cooker in a thrift shop or if the deterioration of the seals would make it too risky.

Alright I have an idea for a head-to-head test between a pressure cooker and no pressure cooker. I will try to do it this weekend. If so I'll make a thread about it. As for pressure cookers, I use a metal-to-metal seal cooker:

http://www.amazon.com/All-American-2-Qu ... ref=sr_1_2

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:15 pm 
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I have lots of pressure cooker experience (however I've only used food dyes which probably won't work well on plastic) Metal to metal seals are the best. Just a thin layer of grease is good to keep it sealed. You never have to worry about replacing worn out gaskets which always happens at the worst possible time.

If you get fungus growing after adding vineager, just remember to boil it once a day, or store it in the refrigerator. It's a pain though. There may also be some antibiological compounds out there that wouldn't interfer with the dyeing, but I don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:09 pm 
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darryl wrote:
If you get fungus growing after adding vineager, just remember to boil it once a day, or store it in the refrigerator. It's a pain though. There may also be some antibiological compounds out there that wouldn't interfer with the dyeing, but I don't know.

I added lots of copper sulfate which is usually a good fungicide but it didn't really help. I boiled the dye in a glass container to kill all of the fungus but a week later it was back. I think the spores were probably airborne in my apartment and that the dye + vinegar provided a good source of food to let the fungus keep coming back.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-dying Shapeways and removing silicone oil from pieces
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:27 pm 
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bmenrigh wrote:
I added lots of copper sulfate which is usually a good fungicide but it didn't really help. I boiled the dye in a glass container to kill all of the fungus but a week later it was back. I think the spores were probably airborne in my apartment and that the dye + vinegar provided a good source of food to let the fungus keep coming back.


After boiling while it's still very hot, you could try taking the lid off and covering with a heavy duty plastic wrap. It will make a partial vacuum and suck down in, but if you can manage to get it to make a perfect seal, no mold spores should get in and they are killed at relatively low temperatures (below boiling)
I'm not sure if it's worth all of that trouble though.
Another thing you could try is adding a lot of salt. I don't know if this would affect the adhesion or not. I also don't know if you could get enough salt in to have an affect.

-d


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