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Old 03-26-2015, 03:09 AM
Markitron Markitron is offline
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Material to make paper transparent/translucent

Hello all, first time poster here. Not sure if this is the right forum for this question but thought I would ask some people with paper models. Any assistance would be most appreciated.

I'm working on a project where I need to make standard office paper translucent/transparent and I am looking for a suitable material. I have a paper model, made up of sheets which have been colour-printed on 1 side. I want to find a liquid I can dip it in that will make the paper translucent and make it a full colour model. As you can imagine the top side of the model is full colour but it fades on the bottom as the colour pages on that side are not visible

I have had some luck with Castor Oil, Olive Oil and Poppyseed oil but they eventually fade. Ideally it would be some mix of materials that would have long-term stability and make the paper as translucent as possible.

Linseed oil seems to work well but it obviously makes the part yellow. If I could combine it with something that makes it clearer and still dries quickly, that could work well. If it's not already obvious I'm new to these kind of materials, so any insight would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:54 AM
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Zakopious Zakopious is offline
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Welcome to the Forum !

I think that you are on the right track because the pioneers used greased paper for windows in log cabins.

Making paper translucent is an interesting idea but I don't know how to do it.

Good Luck.

Ken
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:28 AM
Markitron Markitron is offline
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Thanks for the reply, I'm gonna keep trying every material I can until I findthe right one. One of the biggest issues is that I can't just use translucent paper, it has to be standard paper.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:58 AM
spaceagent-9 spaceagent-9 is offline
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I think that you might just go get some translucent paper from staples. 3-1 oil might be clear enough, or coconut oil. I just use cut pieces from a soda bottle or heat push mold a canopy, maybe it you showed the part you need to be clear you would get a better answer?
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:16 AM
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Try banana oil. I seem to recall a 'tip' from my stick and tissue days back in the 1950s that banana oil would make model plans translucent so that you could build a mirror-image subassembly by just flipping over the plan rather than redrawing it.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:19 AM
Markitron Markitron is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll get a shopping list together. Anymore would be most welcome. As I mentioned it has to turn paper transparent, so I can't use transparent paper to begin with (even though that would be very convenient)
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:23 AM
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Instead of making the paper translucent, would it be easier to print a mirror-image of the page on the back side of the paper?
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin View Post
Instead of making the paper translucent, would it be easier to print a mirror-image of the page on the back side of the paper?
Unfortunately not, I only have a single-sided printer and refeeding the individual pages to print on the underside would take days.
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:52 AM
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Jim Nunn Jim Nunn is offline
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I think the laws of physics pertaining to the transmission of light will make this nearly impossible. The best you could expect is to allow some light to transfer through the paper but no detail will appear.

I would suggest a different approach. You can purchase from paper supply stores that cater to the printing industry printable clear sheets of plastic that are similar in weight to 67Lb paper. you must specify that it is for a laser printer or a inkjet printer. you will find it to be rather expensive. you are going to have another issue any treated paper with some sort of oil to make it somewhat transparent will also make it nearly impossible to glue. You may have the same gluing issue with the transparent stock.

If you are printing flags or some other part that needs to resemble cloth or a tarp tissue paper will work quite well on an inkjet printer. The ink will bleed through to the other side of the tissue paper but you will lose some detail. to print on tissue paper tape the tissue paper to a sheet of 67lb card stock. make sure that there are no loose ends that could jam your printer.

Jim Nunn
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Nunn View Post
I think the laws of physics pertaining to the transmission of light will make this nearly impossible. The best you could expect is to allow some light to transfer through the paper but no detail will appear.

I would suggest a different approach. You can purchase from paper supply stores that cater to the printing industry printable clear sheets of plastic that are similar in weight to 67Lb paper. you must specify that it is for a laser printer or a inkjet printer. you will find it to be rather expensive. you are going to have another issue any treated paper with some sort of oil to make it somewhat transparent will also make it nearly impossible to glue. You may have the same gluing issue with the transparent stock.

If you are printing flags or some other part that needs to resemble cloth or a tarp tissue paper will work quite well on an inkjet printer. The ink will bleed through to the other side of the tissue paper but you will lose some detail. to print on tissue paper tape the tissue paper to a sheet of 67lb card stock. make sure that there are no loose ends that could jam your printer.

Jim Nunn
Thanks for the reply and suggestions, I am actually gluing it before I treat it. So I essentially have a finished model which is colourful at the top but not on the bottom. Like I said it does have to be standard paper.

The material doesn't need to allow light through the page, it just has to reflect/refract light at roughly the same angle as the fibres in paper. Paper appears white because the air in the paper and the cellulose fibers scatter light in completely different directions. If you replace the air with a liquid that scatters in the same direction it becomes transparent. Oil does this quite well but it's obviously sticky to work with and can dry out.
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