10 Best Metal 3D Printers
Metal 3D printing has become a hot topic recently mostly due to the fact that the current 3D parts that are being printed are really good quality. So good in fact, some of it is actually better than what is made by normal methods.
Traditional methods tend to be wasteful when it comes to making metal and plastic parts. Often, when metal parts are made, almost 90 percent of the metal material is cut away creating a lot of waste and using a lot of energy. By using a 3D printer to create these same metal parts, manufacturers can use less energy and minimize waste.
Plus, the metal pieces that are printed can weigh up to 60 percent less than those pieces made with traditional manufacturing. Industries such as airlines can save a lot of money in fuel with this type of weight reduction. This has been an exciting new technology to keep an eye on as there can be so much development in a short period of time, things can progress almost within the blink of an eye.
Attempts to print with metal can actually be traced back to the 1880s by welders using carbon electrode arcs to fuse pieces of metal together. It really wasn’t until the development of the laser that 3D printing was brought to the general public and the eventual introduction by NASA of the technique called selective metal melting (SLM) Engineers at NASA has made it successful in producing parts with complex geometry and dimensional accuracy that is beyond what was thought possible with regular fabrication methods.
The fastest method of 3D printing has been discovered through depositing a powder metal matrix that has binders and, after each layer is deposited, the binder is melted and held together temporarily until a final baking in an oven. This process has been streamlined by Shapeways to give the public the fastest process possible from a variety of metal materials.
Industrial Metal 3D Printing
Buying a metal 3D printer for your business is a big and expensive step. It is probably not a wise business decision unless you plan on printing metal every day. The costs of just the printer can run between $100.000 and $500.000, plus you will need to add the additional cost of a salary for someone to not only run the printer, but who can also maintain it.
Instead of investing in your own 3D printer, you should probably look into hiring a 3D printing service that can take care of your needs, and companies like Sculpteo and iMaterialise will actually mail you your metal 3D printed parts right to your door. They currently offer 3D printing in the following metal materials:
• sterling silver
Professional goldsmiths can also order the wax models that they need for casting custom orders. This has been a rapidly growing service all around the world with the 3D printing metal machines becoming more common at 3D printing services.Big companies have become fond of these services as they can easily create fully automated factories that are producing enhanced parts that allow you to evenly distribute the material in a part so it can be engineered to withstand more stress making it structurally sounder while still reducing its weight.
If you do intent to use one of these companies, they will require special software use like a special CAD Design or Shapeways has specific 3D printing metal guidelines.
Offering two types of services, Shapeways is one of the world’s most popular online 3D printing services allowing you to choose from a wide range of professionally designed items and then customizes them with your printed specifications. Shapeways is comparable to other 3D printing services giving designers the option of a storefront to print and sell their work. It can also provide rapid prototyping allowing customers to benefit from industrial grade printers like EOS and 3D Systems with dedicated technical support.
Shapeways uses the following 3D Printed Metals:
- Precious plated metals
Shapeways can also make castable wax for jewelers.
Similar to i.materialise and Shapeways, Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service that lets you upload a 3D model and they will then create it from a choice of materials. You can also open a storefront to sell your creations and it uses a lineup of 3D printers including high-end machines like EOS, 3D systems, ZCorp, and Stratasys. Using extensive technical documentation, Sculpteo helps you to find any design flaws and find just the right material you need to create your project.
Sculpteo uses the following 3D Printed Metals:
- Alumide (plastic added with aluminum particles)
Materialise works primarily with industrial clients to create 3D printed products and prototypes, but its online 3D printing company called i.materialise works with the individuals and the general public to allow them to upload their designs to print them out. After their products have been successfully reproduced, i.materialise allows them to sell it on their gallery or online store.
i.materialise uses the following 3D Printed Metals:
- Alumide (plastic with added aluminum powder)
You can also use 3D hubs to find individuals and businesses that provide 3D printing services in your area. You can connect with them directly and upload your STL file for an instant estimate. You can filter by distance, materials, and user rating. No matter what type of product you want printed, there is a good chance you will have someone in your area willing to do it, plus many of the materials can be printed in industrial quality which you can note with an »HD« in the search field.
3D Printed Metals Applications
You probably don’t even know it but 3D printing is being used more and more for average objects like dental and medical implants. Since they can be adapted to an individual’s needs, they are considered the best available option for patients.
Jewelry has also benefited from the improvement in 3D metal printing technology as it enables manufacturers to switch from lost wax casting and resin 3D printing to direct metal 3D printing. The aerospace industry has also seen an increase in use of 3D printing metal objects and the automotive sector is the next industry where the manufacturers are using 3D printing not just for prototypes, but to make actual car parts
3D printing is still overcoming some obstacles, mostly its high cost, as well as its low production speed which can cause problems for printing 3D metal objects. However, many of the issues that metal 3D printers contend with are similar to any 3D printer that consists of limitation with hardware and software, plus materials and material optimization. Most metal parts generated by a 3D printer are just as strong as components made with traditional methods if not above industry standards in some cases.
Metal 3D Printing At Home
For those interested in metal 3D printing at home, there are several obstacles to overcome including the need for very high temperatures to do the printing. This is not a technology that we will see for in home use probably within the next few years. But, as the technology evolves, there will be a lot of growth in these new applications.
It is possible to use added metal powders to a plastic filament that contain a high enough percentage of metal powders but also enough plastic that it can be printed at a low enough temperature that any 3D printer could do it. This combination will still have enough metal to have the feel and look of a metal object. The Dutch company Formfutura has a new metal 3D printing filament that they have increased their ratio up to 85 percent metal powder and 15 percent PLA for more of a metal feel.
If you do plan to try some of these metal 3D printing filaments, you may want to upgrade your 3D printer nozzle depending on your 3D printer’s quality. You may also want to invest in a durable printer hotends that is made of metal and can withstand high temperatures and can be mounted onto most 3D printers. Since metal 3D printing filament can be pretty abrasive, you will have to replace your 3D printer nozzle fairly often. And, don’t forget about investing in a proper finishing process like sand grinding, waxing, greasing, brushing, or coating so that your metal 3D print object can shine.
Available Metal 3D Printing Technology Types
Powder Bed Fusion
Most large companies are using powder bed fusion in their metal 3D printing process meaning that they use an energy source like a laser or another energy beam to fuse atomized, or perfectly round particles, powder to make the layers of the objects.
With eight major metal 3D printer producers in the world, this technology has already made its way into a number of machines and more and more are entering the market all the time. This technology is called DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) or SLM (Selective Laser Melting).
Binder jetting is another professional approach that uses a powder bed where the layers of metal particles are glued together and later sintered or melted together in a high-temperature kiln like with ceramics. Also similar to ceramics is the capability of mixing the metal powder into a metal paste and using a pneumatic extrusion 3D printer to create the 3D objects with the final step being sintered in a kiln. This approach is used by Mini Metal Maker 3D printer which is the only really affordable metal 3D printer on the market.
The final method for metal 3D printing is fused filament deposition which is not really possible for a desktop printer. This is a good option for very large industrial metal manufacturers who can deposit metal. The first option is called DED (Directed Energy Deposition) or Laser Cladding that uses a laser beam to fuse slowly released metal powder that is deposited as layers of an object with an industrial robotic arm in a closed chamber.
The second option is called EBAM (Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing) which is a type of soldering process that has a very powerful electron beam that is used to fuse molten metal and a 3 mm thick titanium wire and is shaped into very large metal structures. Only individuals that work for the United States Defense Department will need this type of technology.
Types of Metal Used
One of the most commonly used metals for 3D printing is pure titanium, either Ti64 or TiAl4V. Its versatility is an attractive quality as it can print out both light and strong. It is mainly used in the medical industry in creating personalized prosthetics and in the automotive/aerospace industries in making prototypes and parts.
Titanium is used in both binder-jetting and powder bed processes. It does have one catch, it tends to be highly reactive, so it can explode easily in powder form which is why when it is 3D printed, it uses a vacuum or in an argon gas atmosphere.
When looking at affordability, stainless steel tends to be the most inexpensive as well as strong metal to 3D print. This is also a versatile metal that is used in many art and design projects as a well as a wide assortment of industrial applications. Because of this type steel alloy, you will find it almost exclusively used in industrial projects due the nickel and cobalt it contains making it have very high elastic properties while remaining hard to break.
The superalloy called Inconel is manufactured by Special Metals Corporation. Inconel is made of mostly chrome and nickel and retains a high-temperature resistance which is why it is mainly used for projects in the chemical, oil, and aerospace fields like black boxes on airplanes.
Aluminum is very light and versatile making it a popular metal to use with 3D printing projects. Primarily, it is used as different Aluminum based alloys.
Containing a very high specific strength, this metal alloy is used mostly to make dental implants, turbines, and orthopedic implants. These are all applications where 3D printing has become a popular manufacturing method.
Copper and Bronze
Mostly used in wax casting processes, copper and bronze are usually not used a lot in powder bed fusion processes as they are not the perfect choice for industrial projects. They are more commonly used in arts and crafts.
Iron is usually only used as an additive to PLA based filaments like ProtoPasta and TreeD.
Gold, Silver and Other Precious Metals
Precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum are used mostly by powder bed fusion companies. This is a challenging process as the printer must manage the precious powders while maintaining the aesthetic properties of the materials. 3D printing of precious metals is used for medical, jewelry, and electronics applications.
Metal 3D Printer Reviews
For those needing to print very large 3D metal structures, the Sciaky EBAM 300 has the capabilities of offering up the size you need and is mostly used by the United States defense and aerospace industries. The EBAM 300 is Sciaky’s largest regularly available system that features a build size envelope that measures 228” wide x 48” deep x 48” high.
Sciaky is one of the fastest growing industrial 3D printer commercial companies. The EBAM 300 can create a 10-foot long titanium aircraft structure at a rate of fifteen pounds of metal per hour completely the project in 48 hours. In comparison, it would take forgings between 6 and 12 months to build what this 3D printer can create in two days.
The unique technology that Sciaky’s uses can melt a 3 mm thick titanium filament with a high power electron beam gun providing standard deposition rates that range from 7 to 20 pounds per hour. The EBAM 300 has a maximum work envelope of 19′ x 4′ x 4′ x 8’ which is one of the biggest build platforms of any metal 3d printer that is commercially available.
The EBAM 300 is also the only 3D printer available that produces a metal structure over ten feet long, and it is created to additively manufacture prototypes from high-quality metals like niobium, titanium, Inconel, Tantalum, and other alloys. It also gives a very high level of control over the material composition and geometry of its patented IRISS Closed-Loop Control Technology. It also includes huge savings on raw materials like precious metals with the large reduction of waste.
The EBAM 300 is a full-scale method of production for institution and corporations that need more than just prototypes created. This system can be used to improve, repair, and create next-generation end-use technology in the defense and aerospace industry as well as the metals and energy industries.
The EBAM 300 is truly the largest 3D printing system in the world that is fit for actual use in the commercial and industrial world and not just a mega-scale 3D printer that cannot be used commercially or is only available to a small group of individuals that has few real-life applications. The Sciaky EBAM 300 can actually be used for practical purposes to create functional metal parts.
Using Ultrasound Additive Manufacturing Technology, or UAM, Fabrisonic creates 3D print large metal parts with machines that use three-axis CNC mills with an additional welding head for additive manufacturing. With a build volume of 6” x 6” x 3”, metal layers are cut first cut and then welded together with an ultrasound.
The UAM process uses ultrasonic welding to build up solid metal objects into a three-dimensional shape with a series of metal tapes. The process includes periodic machining operations that create a shape detail of the object. A transducer produces vibrations that are transferred to the disk-shaped welding horn that makes an ultrasonic solid-state weld between a base plate and the thin metal tape.
With a continual roll of the horn, the entire tape is welded to the plate with a series of layers welded together onto to create the height of the object. This repeated process occurs until the finished component is created with a final CNC contour milling used to is then used to accomplish the necessary surface finish and tolerances.
Ultrasonic welding gives Fabrisonic its solid-state bond that has been around since the 1960s. The welding process uses ultrasonic vibrations to generate motion similar to friction between two surfaces that are being held together with pressure which can cause plastic deformation and shearing that can cause contaminants and surface oxides to disperse. As the sharpness disappears, the contact between metal and metal is increased and forms a solid bond between the parts because of the heat and pressure.
Fabrisonic has been working on parts for defense contractors, aerospace companies, and a few other high-tech manufacturing companies. They are also anticipating growth and looking to expand in the future.
With a build volume of 630 x 400 x 500 mm, the Concept Laser XLine 1000 is the biggest powder metal 3D printer currently on the market. Similar in size to a single story house, the XLine 1000 is able to build parts that weigh up to 1000 kg and uses a 1,000-watt laser at the core of its system. This build envelope is able to build a standard V6 engine with additive manufacturing and can significantly increase productivity in comparison to other commercially available laser melting systems.
Not only can the X line 1000R increase construction rates, but it also can improve surface quality, system reliability, and higher reproducibility due to its process monitoring and its qualification for using a variety of projects with a wide range of powder materials. It works with a wide variety of metals like nickel-base alloy, stainless steel, cobalt-chromium alloy, hot work tool steels and precious metals like silver and gold alloys and reactive powder materials like aluminum and titanium alloys. The versatility of the XLine 1000 makes it a good choice for many industries like automotive, aeronautics and space, jewelry, and medical and dental.
Of the above industries, the automotive and aerospace industries will benefit the most from the use of lightweight aluminum alloys that replace expensive tool and die casting processes to build a highly ridged structure with weight-optimized geometries into lightweight structures.
As the capabilities of 3D printing hardware rapidly evolve, printers can now build huge components with great precision and fine resolution at faster speeds. As the technology improves, machines like the XLine 1000 can transform industries in new ways that can move the competition advantage to high volumes of low cost production.
Now, for those of you looking for a metal 3D printer that can sit on your desk, the Desktop Metal Studio isn’t quite small enough, but it is as close as you will get, plus it is a great addition to your workplace. This printer actually comes with a furnace and can print parts that can be ready in just one hub using a process called Microwave Enhanced Sintering. This is actually a pretty inexpensive printer when you consider its many capabilities and features that it offers, plus it can 3D print as fast as 16 cm3/hr.
The Desktop Studio is one of the most inexpensive and fastest metal 3D printing technologies that you can find on the market and is actually around ten times cheaper than its competitors. Instead of selectively using melt metal powder, the Studio 3D printer uses metal rod extruders in a way that is comparable to how a plastic FDM printer works. By eliminating the safety requirements that are normally used with metal 3D printing when you are opening alloys and using new features like closed-cell infill to create lightweight strength.
The Studio System is comparable to Metal Injection Molding (MIM) by using bulk sintering to accomplish densities that are higher than 98% and parts that are created that perform similarly to wrought alloys. The Desktop Metal Studio features a software controlled workflow that has every stage of the process managed and automated by software, plus a proprietary separable supports technology that makes it possible to take out parts by hand.
As the technology grows closer to allowing a metal 3D printer into our homes, the Desktop Studio will be one of the printers that helped us get there. It is only one step removed from at home capabilities and it shouldn’t be surprising if they have an at home model available in the next few years.
Revolutionizing 3D technology, Markforged has created Metal X for their metal printing field that can manufacture parts with incredible speed. It has incredible geometrical accuracy when it prints, and the parts it creates uses metals that can be used in the automobile, aerospace, and weapons industries.
The Metal X actually creates real metal parts with its full metal 3D printer out of powdered metal that hardens with massive heat and creates durable and lightweight materials. It has an extruder that creates the initial shape on a build plate that the material is bonded to in small furnace reduce the size of the object but it also has the ability to evaluate any shrinkage and automatically adjust the design as it works.
Using new technology called Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing or ADAM., the Metal X gives you unique design features that include the capability to add honeycomb internal structures that lower the weight of the components. With a build volume of 200 mm x 200 mm x 250 mm and a 50-micron layer height, you can hardly tell the difference between the parts that are printed and those that are cast.
Metal X can print the following metals:
- Stainless Steel 17-4 and 303
- Aluminum (Beta) 6061 and 7075
- Tool Steel (Beta) A-2 and D-2
- IN Alloy (Inconel) 625 (Beta)
- Titanium Ti-6Al-4V (Beta)
Even though the price of this machine is incredibly high, it is one of those machines that is awesome to know is out there and helping to raise the bar for metal 3D printing.
On the smaller metal printer side is Shining 3D’s EP-M100T that is perfect for jewelry, dental applications, and education. It uses a 100 to 200 Watt laser that can process a very wide range of powders into a metal object. It uses the selective laser melting 3D printing technology (SLM) that selectively melts metal powder layers.
The Shining 3D EP-M100T has a practical and compact design and has the following features:
- A build chamber that is compact and perfect for printing small parts that can be used in the medical, dental, and jewelry industries.
- A laser with 100W/200W power
- Monitoring through remote control and smartphone
- Eplus 3D printing software
The Shining 3D EP-M100T 3D printer can use the following metals:
- Titanium alloy
- Aluminum alloy
- High strength steel
- Tungsten alloy
- Copper alloy
- Stainless steel
Using Selective Laser Melting technology, the Shining 3D EP-M100T selectively melts fine layers of metal powder directly from a 3D file. With its smaller build chamber, the EP-M100T is great for a lab environment where you need less power and less accessory equipment. And with its open system, the EP-M100T gives you limitless possibility for lab experiments.
With a practical and compact design, the EP-M100T gives you a touch screen with user-friendly controls and a remote control and diagnosis through a phone. There is also a multiple precaution system protecting both people and machine, plus an integrated design that makes maintenance and operation convenient.
The EP-M100T also features high property and high precision printing quality that uses an intelligent powder coating method, plus a quick scanning speed that guarantees a more efficient printing process. It also has a lean design that helps to guarantee a low-cost operation with a compact chamber design and tightness that reduces powder consumption.
The EP-M250 can be used an in a wide variety of applications including education, dental, and jewelry. It also uses a diverse amount of printing materials making it very useful for the workplace.
Notable for using a Kickstarter campaign to start its production, Aurora Labs S-Titanium Pro uses a wide variety of metallic powders. It uses a hybridization of different metal printing technologies including SLM, SLS, and DED making it very versatile so that you can apply its products to various industries.
After an intellectual property dispute, the initial Aurora Labs Kickstarter project fell through and they began development of a 3D printer that would be even faster. They also offer an affordable product for their class with the S-Titanium that features a 300W laser and allows you to print more metal materials than its competitors including:
- Stainless Steel 316
- Stainless Steel 420
- Inconel 625
- Inconel 718
- Hastelloy C276
- Stellite 1
- Stellite 6
- Stellite 21
- NiBSi + WC60%
Eventually, it has plans to include materials like:
- Titanium Grade 1
- Titanium Grade 2
- Titanium Grade 4
- Titanium Grade 6
- Titanium Grade 12
- Bronze, Brass
- Aluminium AlSi7Mg
- Aluminium AlSi10Mg
It is also compatible with some third-party metal powders as long as they follow their specific purity and size requirements. Each machine is basically three printers in one that can print in one of three modes:
- Selective laser sintering (SLS)
- Selective laser melting (SLM)
- Directed energy deposition (DED)
You can also do on the fly alloying in DED mode, as well as pseudo-alloying due to three independently controllable powder hoppers.
Aurora Labs has received a lot of interest and is in full production to keep producing their machines. With their incredible versatility and use of multiple metals, Aurora Labs S-Titanium Pros is a less expensive and popular model that is helping to take metal 3D printing to the next affordable level.
In contrast to the other 3D metal printers, the Xact Metal XM200 uses a chamber that is flooded with Argon gas plus high power laser beams and powders on a conveyer belt to create objects. It has a little smaller build volume, but it is still an affordable metal 3D printer by a US-based manufacturer. The XM200’s beam has is consistently orthogonal across the entire surface of powder that helps it to consistently produce the right fusing properties throughout the entire build area.
Xact Metal XM200 features:
- Uses a 250 W fiber laser that builds layers that are as thin as 20-100 microns with a spot size greater than 10 microns that allow a high level of precision.
- Utilizes cloud connectivity for one or more 3D printers that provide remote monitoring of the entire 3D printing process.
- Easy access to the build area that allows for convenient cleaning and quick set up.
The Xact Metal is compatible with several metals including:
- Xact proprietary powder 316L
- Stainless Steel and the proprietary powders
- Inconel 718 Superalloy
- Titanium 6Al 4V
- Aluminum Si10Mg
- Maraging Steel
The Xact Metal utilizes a traditional and laser powder bed system that allows you to create elaborate metal prints. By using a laser, the printer can fire right onto the material while it is on the platform and it can then use a high-speed scanner while the powder shapes leading to a consistent power level across all the different areas.
The unique build chamber system is a little on the small side, but it is needed because of the controlled gas system that lets out all of the oxygen to fill up with argon instead. Depending on the type of company you work for, it may not fit with your model due to its small build volume, plus it requires a special power system that you may have to invest in.
9. M400 by EOS
Designed by German manufacturer EOS, the EOS M 400 is an industrial 3D printer that is based on the DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) 3D printing technology that was developed by EOS. This printing technique utilizes fiber lasers to melt and fuse fine metal powder creating a series of layers as the object is built. With this method, you can create 3D printed products using complex geometry elements like deep slots, freeform surfaces, and/or coolant ducts.
The EOS line of industrial metal 3D printers uses the following metals:
- Cobalt chrome alloys
- High-grade steel
- Maraging steel
The EOS M 400 includes additive manufacturing system produces of high-quality large metal parts with a building volume of 400 x 400 x 400 mm. The EOS M 400 allows for the production of an industrial scale of large metal parts without any need for tools directly from CAD data. It includes the following features:
- High productivity with proven quality
- Due to 1kWlaser, it has increased productivity
- Reduces non-productive time by recoating both sides
- Reduces filter costs with a new recirculating filter system that has an automatic cleaning function
With a modular platform, the EOS M 400 contains a setup station and a process station, plus for future innovation, it facilitates easy integration. It also includes an extensive monitoring feature that takes quality management to the next level and sophisticated software that separates job preparation and calculation from the actual building process.
Improved usability makes the EOS M 400 very user-friendly as it supports the production of complex metal parts with its fast and easy touch screen operation with a broad material portfolio. EOS also offers a large number of metal materials to meet your individual requirements.
10. ALUNAR Metal 3D Printer Fully Assembled High Precision Auto-Leveling FDM Desktop 3D Printing Machine
The Alunar 3D printer allows you to discover a new hobby or take one you already have to the next level. With 3D printing, you are opening yourself up to tons of new possibilities, basically, if you can dream it, you can make it. With the Alunar 3D printer, you can customize and personalize items creating endless products for your business.
The Alunar 3D printer also allows you to foster new learning experiences through experimentation, and through problem solving and critical thinking, you can turn your dreams into actual sellable objects. With 3D printing you can print individual objects, parts for a larger project, or complex objects that move. You can even expand your creation by using other tools along with the Alunar 3D Printer to create multi-material projects.
The Alunar 3D Printer R200 is a small to medium sized high-performance printer that is affordable and accurate, plus it is easy to setup and use. Featuring a flexible and user friendly software system, the Alunar 3D printer is quick and convenient to install, plus you can get simple-combined and colorful printing by just changing out the filament while the printer is working. You can also outfit it with a small 0.4mm extruder to guarantee its accuracy and quality.
The Alunar 3D printer also features all metal frames that are easy to put together, plus it is not necessary to set up heating beds as the print is started right on the On Patent Print Plate with strong filament bonding. The Color Touch Screen Control makes it easy to control and operate while printing, plus it makes it expandable with more functions.
Other features include a support 1.75mm ABS/PLA filament, an Auto Install and Uninstall filament function, and a memory function allowing you to print from a stop point. This also means it is possible to print several colors since you can stop printing to replace the filament. Of all the metal 3D printers on this list, the Alunar 3D printer has the most possibilities for the average person and is worth checking out.
Metal Filament Reviews
1. 3D Solutech Silver Metal 1.75mm 3D Printer PLA Filament
Professional grade 3D printer filament by 3D Solutech can provide printed objects in various materials and colors. Each spool is hand checked and vacuumed seal to ensure high-quality levels, and the 3D Solutech PLA filament is consistent in its printing experience and in maintaining a smooth product.
You will find that 3D Solutech 3D Printer filament is always round and you won’t find any bubbles, residue, breaks, or kinks. Using their ultra-smooth technology, Solutech filaments are able to product smoothly and beautifully to create delicate objects. These filaments are also tested on various models of 3D printer to make sure consistent quality throughout the market.
- Consistent and spooled well
- Good quality, prints smoothly
- Has a bit of shine to it
- Has a tendency to jam
For a different look, Gizmo Dorks metal copper fill filament lets you make unique products with a metallic finish and look. With a unique mix of real copper powder with PLA filament, you will get prints that are similar to regular PLA, and it can be printed on build plates that are either heated or non-heated.
When using metal copper fill, make sure to consider heat migration as heat will move faster through filament than normal. Metal copper filled prints can also be post-processed by using coarse steel wool to polish your surface.
- Good quality, great adhesion
- Great color, easy to print
- A lot brighter than other coppers
- Not easy to polish
3. SainSmart Copper Metal 1.75mm Filament
If you are looking for vibrant color, the SainSmart 3D Printer Filament provides quality filament that will allow you to bring your ideas to life. This professional grade filament is good quality filament that is always round with no air bubbles, breaks, kinks, or oil residue.
SainSmart Copper Metal is used throughout eduction, building, electronics, health care, toys, automobile, and anime fields. It also works common 3D printers like FlashForge, MakerGear, Reprap, MakerBot, and Solidoodle.
- Prints well, very consistent
- Good strength and rigidity
- Prints really well, good adhesion
- Pretty brittle right off the spool
Made with 100% raw materials. MeltInk3D is made with high-quality standards and all of their filaments are guaranteed to be 1.75mm in diameter. All filaments are vacuum packed to guarantee all of your printing projects will be of the highest quality.
- Great color quality, metallic look
- Easy to print, high-quality results
- Nice flow and adhesion
- Color is too dark for some people
A dense material that prints easily, the Proto-pasta SSP11701 makes heavy cast metal looking prints that can be sanded, brushed, or polished making it perfect for costumes, jewelry, props, and figurines. Proto-pasta does not require a heated bed, and it uses a direct-drive system with 0.4mm nozzles although a larger, wear resistant nozzle is suggested for more service intervals.
- Nice heavy material
- Easy to print
- Sands down smooth with very little effort
- Extruder doesn’t keep up very well
The last few years has seen amazing progress in the metal 3D printing industry. Each material has a unique set of properties that can suit a wide range of products including jewelry, medical and dental products, and prototypes. As the technology has developed, it has shown to be in some cases better than what is manufactured by traditional methods and keep in mind it is just getting started.