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.