I just posted What type of paint for mildly flexible plastics? and now I'm thinking about my wording.

The material I'm asking about there is FormLabs Durable resin, off a Form 3 SLA printer. It's a thermoset photopolymer resin designed to roughly simulate the mechanical properties of HDPE, with chemical compatibilities similar to ABS plastic. In my experience it behaves more like ABS/PE/PP than like a polyurethane or polyester resin.

However, I just wrote "plastic" throughout the question.

As far as getting an answer goes, "plastic" is actually sufficient in this case: It wouldn't affect an answer.

The rabbit hole of thought I'm going down though is would this question be more useful if I dropped "plastic" and specifically identified FormLabs Durable resins and SLA printers?

The reason I chose "plastic" was it was just simpler to type. Also the answer isn't really specific to the FormLabs resin.

But now I'm thinking, there seem to be a number of questions about working with plastics and polymers in general, but not as much about specific 3D print materials (especially [M]SLA, as FDM is generally more common in the DIY/crafting world but those printers use actual common plastics instead of specialty resins).

So what I'm wondering is: Given that the general vs. specific material doesn't affect the question itself, would it add more value to Arts & Crafts' knowledge base and searchability if I identified this specific resin rather than simplifying to "plastic"?

My excuse, btw, for overthinking the heck out of this is "pandemic-induced boredom"...


I'm not familiar with that material, so can't provide an answer to the original question. In general, though, plastic isn't just plastic. What finishes (including primer), will bond to a specific material are different, as are the preparation requirements. The characteristics of different plastics are completely different, so any useful answer will require identifying the specific material (as you did in the original question).

Plastics may be similar in how they handle on a 3D printer and in certain mechanical characteristics, but their surface characteristics are very different in terms of bonding to them. For example in the question above, you grouped ABS, PE, and PP together. PE and PP are completely different from ABS in terms of bonding. ABS is easy to bond to, PE and PP are very difficult.

Answering your original question properly will require specialized knowledge. There may well be people on this site who have experience with the material. However, there is a dedicated 3D printing site. I suspect the biggest concentration of people familiar with the material will be there. Don't cross post the question there. But if you don't get an answer here in a couple of days, you might want to ask a moderator to migrate the question there. Good luck with this.

  • Makes sense, although, as I mentioned, in this particular case, the material type doesn't affect the answer; most notably because there is a known-to-be-compatible primer between the material and the paint (I only need paint that is compatible with the primer, and it's a fairly common primer type [ABS / styrene primer]). I'm providing the premise that they're equivalent for this question, which you may safely assume to be true and, given that, I'm only wondering about which contributes more to the site. :)
    – Jason C
    Mar 28 at 22:08
  • But, incidentally, reading your answer sort of convinces me to omit the specific material type; since really it just boils down to mechanical properties of any paints that bond with an ABS-compatible primer, getting specific about the material underneath appears to complicate the question in a way that immediately scares people off. That might offset the gain of adding some Google hits for specific material searches.
    – Jason C
    Mar 28 at 22:19

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