The debut of a new filament made up of a high percentage of bronze powder integrated with PHA is drawing some rave reviews from the initial tester groups. Printed raw, the new material, dubbed bronzeFill from colorFabb, doesn't look particularly metallic, but once it's polished, oh my.
A producer of an ever expanding range of filaments for 3D printing, colorFabb is situated in the south of the Netherlands.
And bronzeFill is, at least according to the first reviews of the product, quite capable of living up to the hype. Here's what colorFabb says about their latest offering:
"3D printing with metal on your own desktop 3D printer. This amazing, one of a kind, filament will allow you to print with actual bronze at home. Straight from the printer, parts look almost laser sintered with a matte finish."
One annoying problem for many artists and designers has been that it hasn't been possible to print metals with a consumer-level FDM printer. That sort of output required the help of service bureaus like Shapeways and their laser sintering 3D printers. Now colorFabb says you can, using their new bronzefill filament, make it happen in metal.
Some four times heavier than traditional PLA filament, colorFabb says the new metallic filament consists of 80% bronze powder and that makes the final output heavy and dense indeed.
But the real beauty of bronzeFill is revealed when it's sanded or polished to highlight the bronze particles buried within. Using 120-180 grit sandpaper to remove all the printed layer lines and following up with another pass at 240-320 grit is the secret. A final pass with 600 grit paper and some copper polish, and voila!
The company says all colorFabb 3d printing filaments are produced in the Netherlands and add that, to maintain the quality of their products, laser measurement systems are used to check the diameter of their filaments in real time during production over 1000 times per second.
Founded as a brand name of Helian Polymers, a sister company of Peter Holland, a well known name in master batch and additives for the plastics processing industry, colorFabb has lots of experience backing their products.
Depending on your setup, 3D printer and slicing software, bronzeFill needs "a bit more flow compared to your normal PLA settings," an increased flow rate of around 4-8% was perfect to compensate as bronzeFill doesn't show a die swell like most PLA materials.