Nov. 25, 2014
Printing with Bronzefill:
Bronzefill is an exciting new filament for desktop 3D printers. Made with real bronze powder and colorfabb’s PLA/PHA , Bronzefill offers a unique finish and weight to printed parts. Follow our tips and you can have shiny, smooth parts that look and feel like real bronze.
1) Though consisting of approximately 80% bronze powder, Bronzefill prints very similarly to regular PLA. Colorfabb has a listed temperature range of 195 – 220C. We found it printed very well at 215C.
2) Like with PLA, a layer cooling fan is highly recommended – especially for smaller parts. Bronzefill retains heat during printing and can get mushy/sloppy on smaller prints or fine features. A layer fan will help minimize this and give you clean, smooth prints.
3) We printed on bare glass, kapton tape, and on blue painter’s tape. When printing on bare glass or kapton, we heated our bed to 60C. This worked fairly well, but we did experience some minor lifting on a few of our parts with smaller footprints. Blue painter’s tape – with no heat – produced the best results. It adheres very well to the bronzefill and leaves a smooth, matte finish.
4) Bronzefill prints well with all the nozzle sizes we tried - .25mm - .8mm. We got excellent results on single-walled prints with .8mm nozzles. Remember, as with all filaments, the larger the nozzle, the slower you need to print.
Unfinished, Bronzefill has a textured, matte finish that looks a bit like dried clay. It sands very easily. We had great success starting with 220 grit sandpaper. The surface sands to a very smooth finish with little effort.
To achieve a polished, shiny finish, start with 220g sandpaper and increase to 600-800 grit until desired surface finish is achieved. Once smoothed, use a bronze or copper polish – we like Brasso – and polish.
Over time, your Bronzefill parts will begin to develop a patina with a greenish tint – just like real bronze. You can re-polish to restore the color/remove the patina, or let it go to achieve an antique look to your printed parts.
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