3D printing with metal: new BronzeFill filament

Thursday, 17 July 2014  |  Jon Brydges
bronzeFill 3D printed rings image

We have been playing with the new speciality bronzeFill filament from ColorFabb, 3D printing in metal! And we love it.

 

Here’s the lowdown of our first 3D prints…

 

Being bronze, we decided to use the ColorFabb bronzeFill on our Ultimaker 2 3D printer to print some jewellery, in this case a couple of rings (thingiverse:thing 9284).

 

Bronzefill 3D print settings

We followed ColorFabb’s suggested settings for printing with the new material. Our specific settings were:

·       Print speed: 50mm / sec

·       Temp: 210°C

·       Heated bed: 60°C

·       Flow rate: 106%

·       Resolution: 0.2mm / 200 microns

 

The first ring didn’t lay down properly, but that was to do with the Z gap. We stopped the process, decreased the Z gap and then started again. Generally we found the BronzeFill printed just like PLA filament.

 

Sanding and polishing to make the bronze shine

When the part first comes off it is a textured matt dark brown colour, with the layers prominently showing.  However, it is definitely worth investing a little bit of time in sanding and buffing the part as you get a lovely shine and shimmer from the bronze particles.

 

As it was a small object, we used a P600 (fine) sandpaper so we didn’t remove too much of it in the sanding process! We sanded it down all around the outside, until the lines of the layers were no longer visible. Then we finished the part by buffing and polishing it with some Brasso and a soft dry cloth. 

 

There’s been a couple of things we’ve noticed since doing it…

 

As with normal bronze, and because it’s a ring, it tarnishes again quite quickly when it is being handled. But most of all, we keep forgetting that it’s not 100% bronze, it’s actually plastic, and so we shouldn’t squeeze it too hard!

 

Bronzefill is in stock in 2.85mm filament diameter. Order your bronzeFill 2.85mm or bronzeFill 1.75mm filament 

 

Tech specs for BronzeFill

Material: colorFabb bronzeFill - PLA/PHA + fine bronze powder

Diameter Tolerance: ± 0.05 mm

Density: 3.9 g·cm-3

Glass Transition Temperature: 55°C

 

The full guide for 3D printing in BronzeFill is available.

 

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