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Delve deeper into Metallic 3D Printing Filaments with our In-Depth Guide

3D printing is soon to be a blacksmith’s new technology.

While 3D printing still has not perfected the production of metal products, it can create 3D prints that have the look and feel of metal, thanks to metallic 3D printing filaments. They benefit the production of items, such as jewelry, busts, sculptures, and museum replicas. Metalheads, learn more about metallic 3D printing filaments below.

What are metallic 3D printing filaments?

Metallic 3D printing filaments produce 3D prints that look and feel like they’re really crafted from metal. These filaments are mostly made from a base of standard 3D printing materials, such as ABS or PLA combined with ultra-fine metal powder made of stainless steel, bronze, brass, and copper. The amount of metal powder that a filament contains vary according to the manufacturer.

The metallic components make the filament a lot heavier than the standard filaments. Since they contain metal, metallic 3D printing filaments are more abrasive against nozzles, so it is recommended to use a wear-resistant nozzle when printing with them.

Features:

  • Realistic metallic finish
  • Extrudes at low temperatures

Trade-offs:

  • Abrasive to nozzles
  • Prints brittle parts
  • Clogs nozzles
  • Low bridging and overhanging capabilities

Applications for Metallic 3D Printing Filaments

Metallic 3D printing filaments typically have a base of PLA, making it too brittle for high-stress commercial and industrial applications. They work best when printing arts and crafts materials, such as jewelry, busts, museum replicas, and sculptures.

3D Printing Best Practices for Metallic 3D Printing Filaments

Metallic 3D printing filaments have many issues during printing. Here are steps to reduce the likelihood of these issues from happening:

  • Switch to tougher nozzles: The metallic components of these filaments wreak havoc on regular brass nozzles. Switch to nozzles made of stainless steel, nickel-plated brass, and other hardened alloys.
  • Careful handling is key: Since metallic 3D printing filaments are brittle, you have to take extra care when handling and storing them. The higher the metal fill, the more brittle the filament is. You should also beware of sharp bends in the filament path, which could cause the filament to snap in the middle of printing.
  • Tweak the settings: The metallic content of these filaments make retraction difficult, increasing the risk of blobbing. It doesn’t help that the higher the metal fill of the filament is, the more difficult it is to determine the right settings. Experiment with the retraction, temperature, and first-layer thickness settings.

Best Metallic 3D Printing Filaments on the Market

ColorFabb SteelFill

ColorFabb BrassFill

ColorFabb CopperFill

ColorFabb BronzeFill

FormFutura MetalFil – Brass (coming soon)

Get realistic metal 3D prints with Metallic 3D Printing Filaments!

You don’t have to be a blacksmith to produce metal items. With Metallic 3D Printing Filaments, you can easily create them with the use of a 3D printer. If you need more help with these filaments or instructions how to use them, contact x3d@x3d.com.au.