Getting Started with Filamet™: Tips for 3D Printing with Metal Filament

Filamet™ is a 3D printing filament made by The Virtual Foundry, consisting of metal/glass/ceramic particles mixed with a binding polymer. It can be printed on printers that can print with any brand of PLA.


Bronze, Copper, and Stainless Steel 316L Filamet™

To set up Filamet™ for printing, begin by mounting your spool. For direct drive extruders, it is recommended to set up the spool so that the bottom is 40 – 70cm over the extruder feeder. For bowden extruders, it is recomended to set up the spool as close to the extruder feeder as possible, keeping the filament path as straight as possible.

Next, set up your Filawarmer so that the center of the spool is aligned with the top of the Filawarmer. Using a Filawarmer is optional but can help ensure a smooth printing process. The Filawarmer warms the filament before it enters the extruder, preventing breakage and ensuring that the filament feeds smoothly. Then, insert the end of the filament into the opening of the Filawarmer and allow it to warm up. You will notice the filament get quite flexible when you pull it out the other end. From here, loading the filament into the extruder is just like any other filament, and it helps to trim a sharp angle on the end of the filament for easy insertion into the extruder. It is not recommended to leave the printer heated and idle with Filamet™ loaded.


Next, you will need to set the printing parameters in your slicer. The settings we recommend are:

Resolution: 0.12 – 0.2mm. Recommended 0.125 for best results.
Shell Thickness: 0.18mm recommended minimum shell thickness.
Infill: 30% minimum. 70% ideal.
Nozzle Temperature: Start at 210°C (410°F) and tune in the range of 190 – 230°C (374 – 446°F).
Build Plate Temperature: Optionally, set the print bed to 40 – 65°C (104 – 149°F).
Flow Rate: Set the flow rate to 135% to start and adjust it as you go.
Retraction: 0.5 – 1.5mm on direct drive extruders. 6.5 – 10mm on bowden extruders.
Speed: 60mm/sec to start. 40mm/sec first layer.
Part Cooling: Part cooling is generally not required with Filamet™.
Z-Offset: About 0.2mm. Filamet™ requires more space between the nozzle and the build plate due to its higher viscosity.

Once the slicer is set up, you can start printing. Keeping an eye on the first few prints can be helpful to ensure you can make any necessary adjustments to the printing parameters as the printer is working. These adjustments can be made in the slicer for the next print.

In conclusion, Filamet™ is a unique 3D printing filament that can be printed on most 3D printers, enabling the user to print pure metal parts on a standard FFF 3D printer.

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