My fellow makers and former students, Aaron and Bryan, had a Hackaday post written on a process that Aaron did for a metals tech credit that he did before he graduated from UWM. The process involves electroforming 3d prints. Upon graduating, Aaron has really found his own way by investigating this process and applying it to many different substrate materials such as laser cut wood and 3d prints to make jewelry. We used to do quite a bit of electroforming when I was in graduate school, but we used to use natural materials, hot glue, or wax for our substrate material. We also used pvc glue and copper powder in place of sprayable bronze or conductive silver paint. We would buy the copper powder from caswell plating and mix our pvc glue into a small salsa jar so you could just shake it to mix it when the powder had settled over time. Once the object was coated in conductive paint we would submerge it in our electroforming bath or plating solution and walk away for a day or two until a nice thick layer of copper was "grown" over the substrate. Then we would drill a hole in the piece and heat the piece with a torch to melt the wax out or incinerate the material inside. We would be left with a lightweight hollow copper form that we could then incorporate into a piece or conduct secondary operations on such enameling. Aaron moved into a studio space in Bryan Cera's lower residence upon graduating and they have had a sweet thing happening there for a while. I couldn't be happier for the press they're getting.
As a side note Hackaday did a post about the laser etching stainless steel post during Christmas. Good to see the DCRL folks getting a little recognition.