How to Improve the Performance and Aesthetics of Your 3D Printed Plastic Parts with Cerakote Finishes

Have you heard of Cerakote? It is a thin-film ceramic coating used by companies such as Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Ford and Lamborghini for their manufactured parts to make them perform better and last longer. Cerakote is also now increasingly being used by major 3D printing companies to finish their plastic parts in order to make them more robust and give a long-lasting, good looking finish.

Destructive testing of Cerakote on metal has shown impressive results. In one instance, a Taber abrasion wear test was performed by NIC Industries to compare the durability of Cerakote to 6 other popular coatings. In this test, Cerakote lasted nearly twice as long as the nearest competitive finish and 24 times as long as the furthest competitive finish. Another study tested the impact resistance of Cerakote. In this test, a 1 oz slug was fired from a 12-gauge shotgun at a piece of metal plate treated with Cerakote. The area behind and surrounding the impact site showed no cracking or loss of adhesion, even in the areas of greatest deformity.

The finish has also been verified for 3D printed parts. Cerakote and HP applied the finish to Nylon 12 which was 3D printed with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. The tests showed excellent results, including no chipping or cracking in cross-hatch adhesion tests, and minimal effect after 24 hour immersion in water, acetone or diesel.

When we learned about Cerakote our company, Tempus 3D, decided to jump on the bandwagon. We tested the product and loved the results, so we have added Cerakote to our product offering for our Canadian and US customers. We offer a variety of colors for our 3D printing services, especially for our plastics such as Nylon 12 which are 3D printed with HP Multi Jet Fusion.

To learn more, feel free to head to where we share details about the testing and certifications of Cerakote finishes.

Hi @Tempus_3D_Printing

How is this applied and priced?

I am thinking in my mind it would be something like powder coat?

How much would it cost to coat a cube 20x20x20mm? So that we can get our head around the cost of it.

1 Like

HI @Tempus_3D_Printing

2nd Ping, could you please address the questions posted above?

thanks in advance.

Hi Jason,

Cerakote is applied as a paint and heat-cured to chemically bond it to the substrate. To get a price quote you need to contact our team at, as it depends on the size of the project and number of pieces being coated. Bulk orders have preferential pricing because of the set-up and clean-up times needed for each coating session. Currently, the pricing is based on $100 CAD set-up fee, and $5.00 min per part at $1.00 per square cm.

Hi Jason,

to respond to your question, Cerakote is applied as a paint, then air dried or heat-treated to seal it to the surface. Powder coat is applied as a free-flowing dry powder then heat-treated to bon it to the surface. Overall, Cerakote has superior durability and performance compared to powder coating. Cerakote is also much thinner than powder coat, at approximately 0.002" thick. Another difference is that powder coating is usually only used on metal, while Cerakote can be used on both metal and plastic.

I have written a blog to give a more detailed comparison of Cerakote for anyone interested to learn more.