Metal FDM Filament

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IF YOU CAN PRINT PLASTIC, YOU CAN NOW MAKE PURE METAL PARTS!!

Now available in Canada!

These bound metal filaments allow common FDM printers to print pure Metal, Glass and Ceramic 3D Parts.

PRINT * DEBIND * SINTER

Filamet metal, glass and ceramic filaments print on common 3D Printers and debind and sinter in common kiln equipment.   No special equipment required.   We can offer full kits; Printer, Material, Kiln and support materials.

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 Print * Debind * Sinter

For quick success making full metal parts with your FFF/FDM 3D printer, start with Bronze Filamet™.

What you’ll need to print:

  • Filamet™

  • Any FDM/FFF 3D printer that accepts any brand of filament (direct drive works better but isn’t required)

  • Stainless or hardened steel nozzle sized at 0.6mm or 0.8mm

  • Blue painters tape for your print bed (or glue stick for a glass print bed)

  • Filawarmer

  • Follow the guidelines on the Use Instructions page to get your printer set up to print Filamet™. The only hardware change you’ll need is a stainless steel or hardened steel nozzle because Filamet™ will wear your nozzle down faster than regular PLA.

  • We generally use Cura or Simplify3D for slicing. To start, just pick a generic PLA profile for your printer and set the nozzle temperature to 225°C and the flow rate to 135%. Optionally, set the print bed to 40-50°C (104-122°F).

What you’ll need to debind and sinter:

  • Kiln

  • Heat resistant gloves

  • Crucible

  • Al₂O₃ and Sintering Carbon for Bronze and Copper

  • Sapphire3D Steel Blend and Sintering Carbon for Stainless Steel 316L, Stainless Steel 17-4 and Inconel® 718-34 Filamet™

  • Note: Filamet™ debinds with only heat so there is no extra debinding equipment needed.

  • Sintering can be done in any kiln that can reach and hold the sintering temperature. For a quick look at sintering temperatures, check out the Reference page.

WHAT PRINTER SHOULD I USE TO PRINT FILAMET™ METAL 3D PRINTING FILAMENTS?

  • Essentially any FFF/FDM 3D printer that uses filament will print Filamet™.

  • Dual gear is better than single gear.

  • Direct drive is better than bowden.

  • You will likely need to replace nozzles for hardened steel and larger sizes.

  • Check our our partner 3D Printing Canada for a broad selection of FFF/FDM 3D Printers

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED IN ORDER TO PRINT?

  • You’ll want a hardened or stainless nozzle sized at 0.6mm or 0.8mm. Brass nozzles will work but they’ll wear down quickly.

  • A Filawarmer will help with the printing process. The filament gets a memory of its circular shape on the spool. A single strand of filament goes through the Filawarmer as it comes off the spool which helps ease that memory and make the filament more pliable and flexible.

  • It’s important not to bake the whole spool at once. That does the same thing as the Filawarmer but the effect lasts only about 24 hours and then the whole spool will be brittle and unusable after heating.

  • You’ll also need blue painters tape for your print bed. Glue sticks also work on glass print beds. Filamet™ really sticks to the bed so putting a release layer between the print bed and the print is key.

 

WHAT IS THE SINTERING PROCESS LIKE?

  • Two things need to happen during sintering:

    1. The part shape is supported, and

    2. Oxygen is prevented from reaching the part.

  • We solve part shape support with a refractory ballast: Al2O3 (for copper and bronze) or Sapphire3D Steel Blend (for the steels).

  • We solve the oxygen problem with Sintering Carbon.

  • If you have the oxygen problem solved with a shield gas and/or vacuum, you can ignore any reference to Sintering Carbon in the instructions.

  • You will still need to manage part shape support however. The crucible and Al2O3 or Sapphire3D Steel Blend will still be needed.

  • Bury your part in the refractory ballast in a crucible. Then, add Sintering Carbon to the top. Place the crucible in your kiln, set the time and temperature program, press go and you’re all set.

  • We have all the materials needed in our warehouse.

 

WHAT KILN OR FURNACE SHOULD I USE?

You can use any kiln though that can hold the sinter temperature of your desired material. 

We sell kilns that are small and hot enough to sinter copper, bronze and the steels. 

 

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED FOR THE DEBINDING PROCESS?

The same kiln you use for sintering will be used for debinding.  Filamet™ debinds using only heat so that process happens on the front end of the heat cycle at lower temperatures.  No special equipment or chemicals are required for debinding.

 

HOW MUCH DO THE PARTS SHRINK?

You have some control here. You can shrink the parts 7% and get about 80-85% density. If you add enough heat and time for the parts to shrink by 20%, your density will be in the low 90’s. The less they shrink, the less the shape will change. The X and Y axes shrink fairly uniformly. The Z axis will have slightly more shrink due to gravity. Circles and holes keep their shape well.

 

 

I’M READY TO TRY IT. WHERE CAN I GET EVERYTHING I NEED?

The Virtual Foundry products, filaments, sintering materials and kilns are available in our store.   

If you’d like to get everything you need to print, debind and sinter, contact us for a quote on a complete system including a printer.  You’ll get all the equipment and accessories you need plus training and support that ensures your success.

 

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS AND WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE.

Contact us with our online form, or reach our shop at 416-479-0009