Technically, this is metal 3D printing.
Metal-filled filaments are pretty cool – you can 3D print any regular shape you want and then sand, polish and buff your parts to expose the metal particles inside. This is PrimaSelect Metal in the copper version, which retails for 67 € per kg, but keep in mind that copper is an extremely dense metal, so you’ll only get about a third of the volume of filament compared to regular PLA. This means that the PrimaSelect Metal probably consists of about 30 Percent copper and the rest PLA.
It actually prints very well, and overhangs in particular come out flawlessly, with only a bit of extra sagging with the bridges being noticeable – which i guess can be directly attributed to the extra heat capacity of the copper content. Overall, it scores 17 out of 20 point, which is right in line with regular PLA. Strength, on the other hand, couldn’t be much worse. Almost none of the specimen showed any considerable resistance before breaking, so you’re probably best off using this material for decorative objects.
And that’s where it shines – literally. With a bit of work from a wire brush to bring out the copper particles, you can already see it getting that metallic shine, and a few good rubs with some metal polishing compound even gets it quite shiny. Because the surface is always going to be porous, it’s not going to get that perfect mirror-like finish you’d get from a polished slab of pure copper, but it’s definitely an appealing look that comes close to, for example, a cast copper part.
Thinner layers are easier to polish to a smooth surface and if printed with a high infill, the parts have a good weight to them as well. It is recommended to use a wear-resistant nozzle with this filament, but other than that, it prints exactly like PLA and has good bed adhesion and very little warping.
So overall, if you want to create parts that have a copper-like look and feel to them and don’t want to go down the route of casting them, the PrimaSelect Metal is a good option, with low strength, but great print quality.
Music by Monstercat