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Metal-infused PLA filaments? (Recommendations needed.)

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:46 am
by dave_the_nerd

I'd heard about these metal-infused filaments, and wanted to 3D print some custom "brass" fittings for a woodworking project (Shapeoko would be doing the inlay, of course.) Anyway, picked some Shaxon brass-infused filament, and it works fine printer-wise (better than the sample filament that was originally bundled with my printrbot, which sucked) but I'm unimpressed with the results, which basically just look like shiny plastic. (After googling for recommendations, I tried both roughing it with a wire brush and sanding it, and the color just doesn't come close to matching any of the actual brass items I have around the house. The 600 grit polishing sandpaper actually made it duller, which was unexpected.)

It's not ugly, mind - I'll probably end up using it for something. It's just not what I was hoping for. At all, really. So I was wondering if anybody else had used metallic filaments in the past and/or knew of one that was at least possible to confuse with actual metal from a distance.

Or are my expectations for this stuff just completely off-kilter?

Thanks in advance.

Re: Metal-infused PLA filaments? (Recommendations needed.)

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:58 pm
by WillAdams
I’ve been curious about this stuff for a while now, but was put off by lackluster results in photographs, the expense and the increased wear on the nozzle.

Do you have access to a tumbler? They seem to help, and I wonder if adding metal shavings to the medium would be an improvement.

Also, Simichrome is a fabulous polish for metals _and_ plastics — try it?

Re: Metal-infused PLA filaments? (Recommendations needed.)

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:33 pm
by dave_the_nerd
I have a tumbler, but it's a barrel-style, not a proper polishing one. (What are they called, radial?)

I'll give the Simichrome a shot. Looks like I'd have other uses for it anyway. :-)