January 25, 2015

Experimenting With Metallic Filament

ColorFabbs metallic filament range contains actual dust particles of metal mixed in a PLA compound and available in 3 varieties – bronze, copper and brass. They are 3x heavier than regular PLA/ABS and produce a marvelous metallic shine once sanded and polished.

I printed the Venus De Milo, a 150mm statue at a layer height od f 0.15mm, 200 degrees celcius, a print speed of 60mm/s and an infill of 5%. A heated bed is not necessary and the filament will stick directly the blue tape just fine with no warping issues at all. While printing the mild scent of clay fills the air.

Upon completion you are left with a somewhat clay-looking sculpture that actually has a bit of oomph to it. The completed piece weighs 102.5g while its PLA sister (printed at 10% infill) weighs a mere 31g. Another important factor is the print quality. Bronzefill handled overhangs extremely well and even allowed for easy support removal without leaving much residue.

Using a rough grit sandpaper – approx 100grit, sand away the print layers (whatever you can reach) to a smooth, consecutive surface and finish with a higher grit – approx 400grit to attain a super smooth surface.

Complete your model with a metal polish and 0000 steel wool. I used Brassers. The areas you cant get to will leave a white-greenish residue which resembles ageing – I think it gives a good effect.

Below is the completed Venus De Milo. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.