I am an Electroformer.
Electroforming is the process of coating a non-metallic surface with metal. This process uses Electrochemistry to bond copper ions to a conductive substrate. The Bath is composed of dissolved copper (Copper Sulfate) and Sulphuric Acid, and some levelers and brighteners. Copper Anodes are placed in the bath. A conductive substrate is also placed in the bath as the Cathode. Electricity is applied to the Anode (+) and grounded to the Cathode (-).
The flow of copper ions radiated by the Copper Anodes is controlled by Current. Current Calculations are determined by the type of Bath and the surface area of the substrate over time.
When the Substrate reaches Optimal current, suggesting full coverage of the substrate in copper, then thicknesses can be calculated over time.
This is a Copper Skull I made last October.
The Skull is wired for optimal coverage of copper in the shortest period of time with consideration to the aesthetic of the plastic model.
- In consideration of the Huge surface area of the Skull, grounding wires must be placed strategically, so that the initial Copper plate takes the least amount of time.
- In 3D Printing, this would be considered 1st layer. In Electroforming, you want to coat your part as quickly as possible for uniform coating.
- Inline with the aesthetic, wires are placed in areas that can be hidden in the finishing process.
- We want multiple points to create uniform plating.
- Once a uniform plate is a Achieved, then the item can remain in tank at full current for a set period of time. This determines thickness of the Skull
This Skull Took about 20 hours in the Tank.
Total time: About 3 days
I have a few of these on my website at : https://promaker.ca