A way to avoid the time consuming painting
We came to realize the most time consuming part of 3D printing is the painting of the printed objects. We were thinking about different ideas how we could speed up painting - spraying paint, dip the object in paint etc. - but in the end we came up with a different solution.
We discovered a process where they apply gold leafs to metal objects. It is called gilding. We have plastic objects to cover so we thought real gold would be a bit too expensive, so we used gold imitation leafs. We are not sure if this can still be called gilding, but that's the closest thing to what we've been doing for the last months.
The process is relatively simple: apply the special glue and then apply the gold imitation leafs. Simple in theory, but of course not so simple in practice. You need a steady hand and lots of practice to do it. And we did just that. In the process we realized that without varnish the result look like a new golden object, but with varnish it looks old and rusty.
One thing is certain, the gilding is much faster than painting, so we will continue to experiment with it. The next step is to try different leafs, not just gold imitation. We will try silver and copper for sure and maybe some other too.