Imagine combining the versatility of PLA with the strength and allure of metal, glass, or ceramic. Filamet™ 3D printing materials are ingeniously crafted, infusing regular PLA with metal, glass, or ceramic powder.
Since the metal powder is held together with PLA, these filaments print just like PLA. Sweet!
In general, you’ll select the generic PLA profile from your slicing software, then adjust the nozzle temperature to 210°C and the flow rate to 135%.
Use a Filawarmer, a 0.6mm hardened steel nozzle, make sure your build plate is prepped and ready, and you’re good to go!
Now you’re printing with metal, just like you printed with PLA.
These filament materials print in a wide range of 3D printers like Creality, Prusa, Bambu Labs, etc.
If you’re printing on an Ultimaker, we have some additional tips and tricks for your metal 3D printing success.
Filamet™ spool setup
First, you’ll set up your filament spool and Filawarmer so that the filament unwinds from under the spool, and goes directly into the Filawarmer which feeds it straight into the printer’s bowden tube.
Slicer setup: Ultimaker Cura
Then, you’ll get your slicer set up for Filamet™ by installing the Copper Filamet™ profile in your Ultimaker Cura slicer. You’ll use this Copper Filamet™ profile for any of the The Virtual Foundry materials you’re printing, even if they’re not copper. They all use the same starting parameters.
Next, use and select the CC 0.6 Print Core.
You can buy Ultimaker branded print cores at MatterHackers in the USA or your favorite Additive Manufacturing retailer.
Filamet™ is more viscous than regular plastics like PLA. This means that the filament needs a little more space between the nozzle and the build plate so we’re going to use the Z Offset slicer setting in Cura to help us with this.
Install the Z Offset Plugin and set your Z Offset parameter. The offset for our in-house S5 is set to 0.11mm.
Watch your print and adjust as necessary until this setting is dialed in for your printer.
There’s just one more step before you’re ready to print.
Build Plate Preparation
The Ultimaker S7 powder coated spring steel build plate needs no special prep. If that’s your build plate, you’re ready to start printing.
If you have a glass build plate, you’ll need to clean it with isopropyl alcohol before printing.
- Start with cool (room temperature) glass.
- Clean the glass by spraying it with isopropyl alcohol and wiping with a paper towel.
- Be sure not to touch the print surface after you’ve cleaned it.
- Next, set your printer’s build plate temperature to 65°C and print normally.
- Once your print is finished, let the glass cool completely (to room temperature) before removing the prints.
- It can be really helpful to remove the glass from the printer and place it on a cooler surface like a countertop or even concrete. This will be necessary when you have prints that cover a lot of the build plate’s surface.
- Do not put your glass in the freezer!
- Before your next print, you’ll start at the beginning again and clean your glass with isopropyl alcohol.