Dyeing NinjaFlex

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Dyeing NinjaFlex

Postby RetireeJay » 2016-Dec-Fri-15-Dec

I printed cellphone cases for myself and my wife, but since the cases and phones were both identical we sometimes got confused momentarily (until we looked at the home screen, of course!).
So I decided I should try to dye my case. After a brief Q-and-A on the Rit Dye forum, I decided to try Rit DyeMore - which is specifically formulated to dye synthetic materials (i.e. plastic, not cotton or wool).
The 7 ounce bottle of dye is sufficient to color 2 lb of fabric, and my cellphone case only weighs one ounce, so I did some calculations and came up with this brew ):
1.3 tsp (6.4cc) of dye
3 cups (0.7 liter) of water
The dye needs to be heated to near boiling to work. I used a disposable aluminum "loaf" pan to hold the dye and a disposable aluminum "turkey" pan as a shield to catch any spills or splashes. (The amber color in the lower right corner of the turkey pan is a reflection, not anything actually present in the pan).
Dye in dual tray on stovetop.jpg

The dye also need time and agitation to work. I gave it 1/2 hour in the simmering solution, moving the case back and forth gently the whole time with a piece of wire shaped into an appropriate hook (partly visible in the above picture).
The result was great!
Dyed and undeyed cases.jpg
Dyed and undeyed cases.jpg (108.63 KiB) Viewed 92 times


By the way, the Ninja Flex Semiflex was printed through an E3D V5 nozzle at 250C, with a 0.4mm nozzle and layer height of 0.2mm. I sliced it in Slic3r, using a maximum volumetric speed of 2.5 mm^3 per second.
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Dyeing NinjaFlex

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Re: Dyeing NinjaFlex

Postby olendorf » 2016-Dec-Fri-16-Dec

Very surprising. Never would have thought that would work. And it worked so well. Some white Ninjaflex will be in the shopping cart next time around.

By the way, I just tried some SainSmart 1.75mm Flexible TPU to compare to Ninjaflex since it is much cheaper. It prints pretty well. It is less flexible then Ninjaflex and it really doesn't stretch at all. I haven't used semiflex but perhaps this would be similar. So it is not going to be a replacement for Ninjaflex but it is certainly another nice material for certain applications. It should go through extruders better than Ninjaflex since it so much firmer.
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