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Jul 5, 2022 - 11:23:57 AM

dirigible

Canada

82 posts since 3/8/2010

Hi.
I've done some googling, but haven't been able to find an answer to whether any commonly used 3D printing material (PLA, ABS, PETG, etc.) would be suitable for inlays. There are inlay models on thingiverse and other 3D model databases, implying that people do this, but I have concerns about durability when compared to mother of pearl or perloid.
Do any of you have experience with this?

Thanks!

Jul 5, 2022 - 11:38:05 AM

79 posts since 1/7/2021

I'd be worried about print quality if using an FDM machine. I can't see it working without a lot of post-processing.

I could see an SLA printer doing an okay job with the right resin choice.

I've never tried it though, and don't own an SLA printer myself (yet).

Edited by - A Drum On A Stick on 07/05/2022 11:38:32

Jul 5, 2022 - 12:37:37 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26186 posts since 6/25/2005

In the end, you have to decide whether plastic inlays are appropriate for that particular banjo.

Jul 5, 2022 - 12:56:20 PM

dirigible

Canada

82 posts since 3/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

In the end, you have to decide whether plastic inlays are appropriate for that particular banjo.


Perloid is plastic. I'm just not sure what compound it is, and if you can 3D print a similarly durable one. 

Jul 5, 2022 - 7:16:39 PM

146 posts since 2/7/2017

Why would you want to? At best it's a white plastic. In any case, getting the dimensions to be consistent would be difficult, as the materials tend to shrink and warp, which has to do with heat, and it doesn't cool uniformly. Assuming you created the inlay cavity with a CNC, perhaps with trial and error you could get the print the right size or close enough. As far as durability, it's practically as durable as solid plastic; I'm thinking of SLS, selective laser sintering, with nylon. SLA resins aren't durable or UV resistant. FDM has issues with weak interlayer bonds.

Jul 5, 2022 - 9:53:10 PM
likes this

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26186 posts since 6/25/2005

quote:
Originally posted by dirigible
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

In the end, you have to decide whether plastic inlays are appropriate for that particular banjo.


Perloid is plastic. I'm just not sure what compound it is, and if you can 3D print a similarly durable one. 


I'm more concerned with taste and style. I'm not a fan of pearloid. 

Jul 6, 2022 - 4:58:02 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15742 posts since 8/30/2006

I have no experience, I can't help.

Some people simply use acrylics cast in a thin sheet with colors.
Then as it is still wet, they draw a toothhpick through it like a vanity chef does with the foam on your latte'

When they setup, you cut them to shape, install and finish.
I have never seen this, only heard of it, but it's a correct description.

We have discussed printing banjo cases.
I wish you luck here.

Jul 6, 2022 - 5:19:42 AM

14753 posts since 6/29/2005

Trying to figure out what the point of it would be, not having to cut shapes out of a sheet of some other material, seems to be the main benefit I can think of.  You'd still have to cut the recesses in the fretboard.

As far as the plastic material goes, Gibson used "pearloid" for their double parallelogram inlays and probably others as well.  It has no great benefit other than cost and always looks like a "step down".

I think that if you are going to do something like 3D printing inlays, you have to do it in such a way that it has some beauty or other benefit that can only be achieved that way, and transcends what it really is—Maybe some ecological benefit?

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 07/06/2022 05:20:36

Jul 6, 2022 - 8:27:43 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15742 posts since 8/30/2006

Well spoken. Ken Levan

We are on the verge of printing new versions of standard parts

What’s the correct pudding for inlays

Jul 6, 2022 - 9:44:34 AM

beegee

USA

23022 posts since 7/6/2005

Pearl and abalone have a natural beauty that cannot be duplicated with synthetics, Hardwood inlays have a natural depth and grain texture found only in nature, Same for turquoise and other stone and gold and silver inlays. To each his own, I guess. Inlays are not that difficult to cut, especially with CNC and laser routing.

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