Monocolor 3D prints are so dull-looking; that’s why many people paint or finish them. But what if you could do so with the world’s darkest material?

Vantablack is an incredible substance, made by Surrey Nanosystems of the UK. This nearly unbelievable material is truly incredible, as it absorbs 99.965% of light falling on it. In other words, it’s the blackest thing you’ve ever seen.

Now, wouldn’t it be terrific if we could apply Vantablack to our 3D prints? Making invisible objects? Can we pick up a spray can of Vantablack at the local hardware store?

Apparently not. It turns out that the application process for Vantablack is a highly complex industrial process requiring precision equipment.

And there’s something else: it requires 450C temperatures. This means that any object having Vantablack applied must be able to withstand that temperature. For typical plastic prints, this rules out the possibility of Vantablack application.

However, metal 3D prints could definitely be Vantablack-ized. Surrey Nanosystems says they’ve already been able to apply the wonder substance to:

  • aluminium sheet/foil, aluminium oxide, aluminium nitride
  • aluminium alloys (6000, 7000 series)
  • cobalt
  • copper
  • molybdenum
  • nickel
  • quartz
  • sapphire
  • silicon, silicon dioxide
  • stainless steel
  • titanium, titanium nitride

So it would not be unreasonable to attempt this process on metal 3D prints – or metal cast 3D prints. Just forget about it for plastic. Oh, and did I mention that the cost of Vantablack probably exceeds coating your object in solid gold?

See more on Vantablack at

Image: Surrey Nanosystems


Fabbaloo tracks developments in the amazing technology of 3D Printing, publishing news and analysis daily. Whether from a manufacturer’s press release, onsite coverage of events or just some crazy ideas we thought up, our material will keep you up to date.


  1. Too bad Anish Kapoor has exclusive rights, so no one can use it for anything creative

  2. I just want this color on a full body set of compression tights to go running in.

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