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Tutorial: Dye your Bioloid

  1. Tyberius's Avatar
    Tyberius Tyberius is online Mech Warfare Founder
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    Dye your Bioloid

    Difficulty
    Medium- Care is to be taken during this process.
    Estimated Time
    1-4 Hours, depending on quantity of parts to be dyed.
    Skills Required
    Ability to use your stove, timer, and not irritate your wife by spilling dye everywhere.......Not that I did, or anything.
    Parts Required
    Bioloid brackets!

    RIT Dye
    Tools Required
    2 cooking pots that you don't mind destroying.

    A metal steamer thingy (looks like a satellite dish)

    Tongs or grabby things of some sort.

    Rubber Gloves.
    So I have seen a few threads here and there about dying the bioloid brackets, but nothing that actually gave step by step on how it's done. Simply soaking the brackets in dye will not work, they have to be heated to 'open up' the plastic, after which the color coating will not flake or crack, its actually dying the plastic itself.

    Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility if you try this and screw up your Bioloid frames. This most certainly voids any warranty on the kit itself and is a permanent change. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.

    Step 1. Pick your dye. I used RIT clothing dye to do it, I only have tested black but I would assume that any color could be used successfully as the brackets themselves are white. I used two bottles of RIT black dye.

    Note about black RIT dye: This will dye your brackets a color that appears to be a very dark brown under certain lighting. In my kitchen, it appeared dark brown, however under florescent lighting/sunlight and when I take photographs of it, it appears black. Either way, I like it, but just something to keep in mind so you're not surprised.

    Step 2. Prepare your parts. Make sure you set aside what brackets you would like to dye, prepare a batch of warm soapy water, and give them a nice rub down. This is to remove any oil or dirt that will block the dye from soaking in.

    Step 3. Prepare the dye and pot. I used a 'metal steamer satellite dish thingy' inside my pot to keep parts off of the bottom. As far as quantity of dye, I'm not sure on the exact science behind this so I winged it. I used two bottles of RIT dye, and diluted it enough so that I had enough to cover all of my parts, no more than 50/50 water to dye. Given that this is a concentrate and they tell you to use gallons of water, I'm sure this was overkill but it did the trick just fine.

    Step 4. Heat the dye mixture on medium until it just comes to a boil, reduce heat to a very light simmer. This was medium-low on my stove, however yours may vary.

    Step 5. Carefully drop the pieces into the mixture, don't put too many at once. I actually suggest you do a single piece first to get a feel for this. The pieces should be completely submerged. Let them simmer for about 30-35 minutes. The bioloid brackets are extremely resilient to heat, my first piece that I tested on was dropped into a full on boil, and was in there for 45 minutes without meling the part, but that was overkill. A very low simmer and 30-35 minutes should do the trick.

    Note: The brackets are made of a stronger material than the feet, CM-5, and chest/torso pieces. I suggest using very low heat for dying the chest/feet pieces as I found out the hard way and warped my CM-5 button/back panel. I would do these pieces separately, on the lowest heat setting, and only put them in for 25-30 minutes. Check the color, if they're not completely dyed put them back in, watching them carefully. The back CM-5 panel is the most fragile, where the feet are the strongest, so use the back panel as a gauge for the rest.

    Step 6. Caution! The brackets and dye mixture will be hot! Fill your 2nd pot with hot water (not cold, it could warp the plastic changing temps too fast) and place inside your sink. Make sure you're using rubber gloves and tongs, bring the 1st pot with the mixture and brackets over to the sink, carefully remove the colander with the pieces inside, let it drip dry, then dump the pieces into the 2nd pot with hot water. I'd suggest running hot/warm water into this pot for about 3-4 minutes, until the water that spills over starts clearing up. Once it starts clearing up, pick up each piece and run it under warm water to ensure all the dye has washed off. Set these aside to dry on a towel or rack, keeping in mind they may still have a little runoff.

    Once your brackets are dry, you're good to go! Here's how mine turned out:


    Attachment 1105
    Attachment 1106
    Attached Files
    • p1010018_368907
    • dscn1725
    Andrew Alter
    Trossen Robotics
    Join the Robotic Combat Revolution @ Mech Warfare!


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Replies to Tutorial: Dye your Bioloid
  1. Re: Dye your Bioloid

    Thanks for the tutorial I might try it this weekend.
        

  2. Join Date
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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    That's how we use to dye the wheels on our RC cars always worked.
        

  3. Join Date
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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    Great tutorial Tyberius!

    I did try doing the same for a time ago, but I didn't use so much dye and I had them only 5 minuttes in the pot. So they turned out to be some sort of military brown pattern. I didn't wash them either .

    A picture of how mine came out, LOL:



    So thanks for your tip, I'll try it again one time.

    -Zenta
        

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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    Brings back dying memories of the white nylon used on RC-10's.

    A tip to make your dye more powerful, and to make the black even blacker, is to mix a good deal of salt into the boiling dye.
        

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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    Yea I forgot about adding the salt. Losi XX
        

  7. Join Date
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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    Great tips! I'll add that to the tutorial. Any idea how much salt to use in say, half a gallon of 50/50 mixture?
    Andrew Alter
    Trossen Robotics
    Join the Robotic Combat Revolution @ Mech Warfare!
        

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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    You know we did it both ways not sure if it made a difference thou. The amount not even sure.

    But the one thing we did is always let the water come to a boil then add a few ounces of dye and simmer parts.
    Never let both the dye and water come to a boil. Colors were darker/richer and were in the water for half that time.
        

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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    Well, Im not sure how much difference that would make to be honest. I forgot two parts, so did those the following night, and used that method and noticed no difference in color. They took just as long to dye fully, but I don't think I had any problems with the color saturation, they're about as black as they can get I believe.

    These also aren't made of Nylon, which probably means they have different properties in dying.
    Andrew Alter
    Trossen Robotics
    Join the Robotic Combat Revolution @ Mech Warfare!
        

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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    I just made the solution really saturated, boiled all ingredients together (I did have to clean the stove-top afterwards), simmered the parts, then rinsed in cold water to close the poors back. It took to the virgin nylon parts, but some plastics in the old kit (bellcranks), wouldn't take.

    Can the bioloid parts be painted? anyone do that?
        

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    Re: Dye your Bioloid

    Nope, it just sloughs off from what I've seen.
    Andrew Alter
    Trossen Robotics
    Join the Robotic Combat Revolution @ Mech Warfare!
        

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