Electroforming - At a Glance

What is electroforming?

Plastic Super Mario and Yoshi figures, electroformed and gold plated

Electroforming is the process of plating non-conductive (non-metal) surfaces such as plastics, organic items and ceramics to name but a few. This process involves tank plating, and always involves our G.S.P Electroforming Copper Solution. This is a special type of copper solution that builds up very slowly (over a span of 3 to 6 hours or more).

The result is a rigid, copper plated item that has a mirror shine with no polishing required. All this on an item that is not even conductive to start with!

How does it work?

Electroformed and gold plated ornamental deer

The non-conductive items are sprayed in a special conductive paint, dried, and lowered into the electroforming copper solution for several hours. The result is an item that is now covered in a mirror shiny copper, requires no polishing, and can be left as is or is perfectly ready for plating in other finishes.

While it is plating in the tank for all this time, you do not need to keep monitoring it, the plating machine is able to keep the exact amount of current as it self-adjusts, meaning that you can get on with other things while the plating runs in the background.

Which kits can help me to achieve this?

iPhone inside a plating tank, being electroplated in 24k gold solution

There are several aspects at work when an item is being electroformed – our Prodigy Range Kits incorporate our Mirror-Tech System™ and contain all of the necessary equipment, anodes and various other accessories to do the job well. All elements of the Mirror-Tech System™ are important as they all have specific jobs to do. No single element will result in successful electroforming, they all work together to achieve consistent and shiny results, straight out the tank.

Our 10A SmartAmp Plating Machine, with integrated plating technology, is at the heart of these kits. Because of this, you can even combine the benefits of electroforming with general tank plating on metal, taking advantage of the ability of the our G.S.P Electroforming Copper to generate a shiny finish inside the tank. This will vastly improve the surface quality of items that were metal to begin with.

Any other benefits?

Electroformed and gold plated GameBoy

Many people use our electroforming kits to make light work of plating various metals such as brass, zinc and other old dull metals, to restore them to a brilliant smooth shiny finish before plating in gold or silver, or other finishes. This cuts out the entire buffing and polishing stage, and this is useful when it comes to items that cannot be easily buffed or where buffing risks damage.

Electroforming is a great way to create a real metal finish on items that are non-conductive, offering huge scope for creativity and experimentation. 

Further reading

Check out our article Electroplating v Electroforming for more information.

Click here to view our most popular electroforming kits.