Formfutura just made 3D printing that much better for users who enjoy a more sophisticated—or even ancient-looking—finish. While 3D printing in metal is the hottest thing going right now for strength and quality, it doesn’t usually fall into that attainable and accessible realm we hear so much about, due to the general need for more industrial machinery and pricey powders. The Netherlands-headquartered manufacturer has just announced, however, that they are bringing metal to PLA filament. This should offer particular advantage to the craftsman, along with many, as soon they are polishing their models to a rich hue, discovering that post-processing might be the opposite of a time-consuming bummer after all.
Formfutura is dedicated to the world of desktop 3D printing, and with a team that’s just as excited about the technology and its uses as you are, they developed both MetalFil Ancient Bronze, and MetalFil Classic Copper. You will find that both PLA filaments are imbued with 80% metal powder, indeed meaning that if your desktop can run PLA, you are in business for making with metal. And they promise that the results will be almost indistinguishable from genuine bronze and copper. Announced today, MetalFil filaments will be officially released on Monday, June 20th.
If true magic really was happening at the nozzle of the 3D printer and the ensuing progress from there, our models really would spring forth completely finished and flawless, and with no further effort required on our parts. While we deeply regret that’s sometimes not always the case, and are aware that many find post-processing to be a headache, you really might change your mind about all that when using these metal filaments and embarking on a new kind of post-processing. With both bronze and copper, look at all you can enjoy:
- Brushing and sand grinding: After 3D printing, you can brush or sand, using either brass or fine grid, respectively. FormFutura recommends this for reaching the full potential of bronze concentration, along with the opportunity to really shine up your model at the end.
- Build-in white polish: MetalFil offers up a thin white haze on your object as a result of being brushed and sanded. You can then begin to polish, and see it emerge in beautiful bronze.
- Professional polishing with a rotary tumbler: If you’re a fan of the tumbler, this is a great time to use it. The team at FormFutura states that using one with your MetalFil 3D printing object will render it indistinguishable from genuine bronze casted objects.
- Patina post processing: Patina is such a unique look and perfect for certain projects. This will apply to both your bronze and copper MetalFil, allowing for several different effects that will take a day or so to complete. Formfutura recommends using an ammonia and soda treatment for bronze and a soldering fluid for copper. The result is that of the faded blue or weathered green look, allowing for an antique feel.
- Waxing and coating: Are you looking for a lot of shine? If so, try waxing or coating in between each post-processing step. Products like beeswax and XTC-3D are just a couple recommended.
Formfutura is a filament company we follow often, as they follow the needs of their users. Offering everyone the chance to work with metal at the desktop will fill in the gaps for many who found that technology missing in their creativity—and it should open the doors for a host of new collections as well as inventions as makers around the world explore new techniques, with those listed here as just a beginning. Discuss further in the Formfutura 3D Printing Metal PLA Filaments forum over at 3DPB.com.