Composite materials (woodfill, copperfill, bronzefill, glow-in-the-dark, carbon or aramid composites and many others) consist of a main plastic base and a second material in the form of dust. These materials tend (except for wood composites) to be very abrasive, therefore, a hardened nozzle is strongly required for printing (adding additional cost).
The first step in polishing is sanding. It’s a good idea to start with a coarse grit size (80) and slowly move up the grit table. After sanding, a big improvement in polish can be achieved with steel wool or a brass brush. If you’re still not happy with the finish, you can try wet sanding with a very fine grit (1500).
Bronze, brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel are just a few of the varieties of metal 3D printer filament which are commercially available. And if there’s a specific look you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to polish, weather, or tarnish your metal items after printing.
The most common 3D printer material blends tend to be around 50% metal powder and 50% PLA or ABS, but blends also exist that are up to 85% metal.
WHEN SHOULD I USE METAL OR WOOD?
Metal can be used to print for aesthetics and for function. Figurines, models, toys, and tokens can all look great printed in metal. And as long as they don’t have to deal with too much stress, feel free to use metal 3D printer filament to create parts with purpose, like tools, grates, or finishing components.