Please scroll through and find your metal, there will be important information regarding the size, quality, pre-treatment, limitations and other need-to-knows regarding the material of your part.
General Disclaimer: As the shape of any part becomes more complex (more ridges, twists, corners, crevices, etc) the more difficult it is in all steps of the plating process. This increases chances of blistering, flaking during the plating process thus slowing down the overal completion time. Any and all large imperfections, stains, blistering and flaking means we have to start the plating process from scratch. All parts will be inspected to ensure accurate descriptions of material type and quality.
Metal is the simplest material for us to work with. It is already conductive and does not require an electroless process. We still etch the part through a variety of different processes, after such we proceed with our standard triple layer copper-nickel-chrome plating. Metals are often easiest to plate when they are flat, cleaned and if possible, sanded down.
3D Printing Materials
3D printing materials are varied. There is layering, epoxies, resins, etc, these will all plate the same way however some will require more copper. The higher resolution of the print the better, and having a flat, smooth surface will allow us to plate much more efficiently.
Plastic is our most popular material. Working with plastic can be extremely difficult especially when it comes to any small breaks in the part. Small tabs are prone depending on the fragility of the plastic. Our plastic plating process requires a electroless pre-treatment that allows us to then plate the plastic as if it was metal. This process takes time and as such is the reason our plastic plating takes longer than metal plating.
Pot-metal often requires extensive pre-treatment that takes the bulk of our times. It involves longer and more intensive labor and is the reason why pot-metal can be more costly than other materials that we service. Pot-metal has to be in good condition, pot-metal that is extremely rusted and fragile can often times be extremely difficult to work with however it all depends on the specific situation of your part.
Fiber glass parts have a gel that is applied to the surface. This gel is often thinner on the side of the part's that are not visible when placed on vehicles. When we begin to etch this thinner layer of the gel, it can peel. This means we have to go in and plate that part in copper at least 2 times to fill in those gaps. This uses up labor, and a large amount of copper to ensure that the part is properly filled in and ready to be plated in Nickel. Please ensure fiber glass parts are properly prepped before giving them to us to plate.