Below is a screenshot from our One:1 product page. Have you ever wondered how we got that exhaust tailpiece to look so incredibly beautiful?
It’s not photoshop. In fact, I saw it happen today, right before my eyes. It’s a combination of chemistry and a little bit of alchemy that is a wonder to behold.
I can’t tell you or show you exactly how we do it. That’s a matter of protecting one’s industry secrets. I have a feeling the chemistry specialists amongst you will figure out the general technique pretty quickly; but the exact technique, that’s another thing altogether.
We start with this – a nicely polished piece of 3D printed titanium.
Actually, the process starts well before this. The piece comes out of the printer looking as granular on the outside as it does on the inside. There are hours and hours of sanding and polishing involved in getting it to the stage you see in the photos above.
From here, the piece has to be thoroughly cleaned. Any leftover grease or dirt will sour the process and the colouring will have to be polished from the piece so that it can be done over (more on that later).
After polishing, the chemistry/alchemy begins. A combination of low voltage electricity and a dipping solution slowly transforms the titanium until the desired colouring is achieved.
It starts with a subtle yellowing of the titanium….
That gets a little more yellow as the process continues. You can already see the purple starting to appear on the upper and lower lips….
Eventually the titanium gets a beautiful blue and purple colouring to it. The more it is exposed to the dip, the more it is effected. The goal is to get an even spread from blue around the rim of the exhaust outlet, to purple and then yellow. This is a process that would happen naturally when the titanium is exposed to hot gases from the exhaust. We do it manually to ensure that the visual effect is evenly spread.
That picture, above, might look good to you. It’s not good enough, however. Our commitment to quality is absolute, so this has to be done again. Too much purple has spread to the top corners of the piece, meaning the effect doesn’t mirror how it would have developed in time due to heat from the exhaust gases. The dip was slightly uneven in both its spread and its time exposed.
To correct this, the colouring has to be polished from the piece, which then has to be thoroughly cleaned (again) so that it can undergo the process once more. A special compound is used to remove the colouring, via an air-powered orbital polisher.
The second attempt yields better results. First the yellowing….
And then the desired spread of purple and blue. Another solution is applied to clean the chemicals off the piece and it’s dried with an air gun….
The end result, I’m sure you’ll agree, is visually stunning.
As always, it’s the attention to detail that makes the difference.