Steel-filled Metal Composite PLA

Steel Metal-Filled PLA Filament

$7.00 USD
SSP11705

Protopasta Stainless Steel PLA filament is a dense material that prints as easily as standard PLA but results in heavy cast metal looking prints that can be brushed, sanded, or polished post-print to achieve amazing results. Using real steel powder, this premium, metal-filled steel PLA filament is perfect for jewelry, costumes, props, figurines, crafting, robots, or any other 3D prints needing a truly stainless steel finish.

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Technical Data Sheets

All of our products have material technical data sheets available for download here

Safety Data Sheets

All of our products have safety data sheets available for download here.

Shipping

We provide a number of domestic shipping options within the United States via UPS, including free shipping on orders of $50 or more. We also provide international shipping via DHL Express.

Returns

At ProtoPlant's discretion, returns and replacements will be accepted within 90 days of purchase.  Please check the material label before opening your product.  Only sealed product can be returned. Shipping of items for exchange or refund is paid by the customer. More information about returns and replacements can be found in our terms and conditions



Prop 65: This product contains a chemical, Nickel powder, which is known to the State of CA to cause cancer.

Prints like plastic, polishes like stainless steel!

Introducing Stainless Steel-Filled Metal Composite PLA. Using real steel powder, we've created a premium metal PLA filament for 3D prints that finish just like real stainless steel! Our steel composite filament is as versatile as it is beautiful, printing like plastic, but finishing like real metal for beautiful, durable parts from most standard 3D printers.

We suggest experimenting with polishing using this starter kit (includes instructional videos).

**This filament is more abrasive than standard PLA. Be prepared to replace your nozzle and do 1st layer adjustment. Try a wear resistant and/or larger diameter nozzle for increased service intervals.

  • Available in 1.75 & 2.85 (3) mm diameters.
  • 125g are loose coils, 500g is on a 8" diameter spool, 2kg is on a 12" diameter spool.
  • Usable on most PLA-compatible printers, such as Lulzbot, Makerbot, FlashForge, Dremel, Ultimaker, Printrbot, and more!
In filament form, SSPLA is slightly more brittle than standard PLA, and requires extra care when handling. Processing is comparable to standard PLA. No heated bed required. Process may be less consistent on smaller nozzles and/or bowden type machines, We frequently print using direct-drive systems with 0.4mm nozzles, though suggest 0.6mm and 210-230C for the best experience.

 

Finishing Techniques

Whether you want your prints to be polished with the same bright mirror finish of shiny steel coins or a naturally rustic finish with an acquired patina reminiscent of an aged steel sculpture, the possibilities are endless with this specialty metal PLA filament. With so many finishing options, the sky is the limit! Here are just a few common finishing techniques for metal composite filaments you might want to try:


  • Wire Brush to expose metal for future oxidation or a bright, satin finish
  • Rock tumble with steel shot for darker, but smooth, shiny look
  • Paint part (black for example) to fill recesses with a contrasting color
  • Polish with a rotary tool, cotton buff, and polishing compound for a bright, mirror finish on high spots (darkens low spots)
  • Polish with paper for a clean, smooth, and bright finish with less darkening
  • Patina (oxidize) exposed metal naturally or accelerate with a 50/50 vinegar/hydrogen peroxide mixture saturated with salt. Place in sealed plastic bag to retain moisture. Heat further accelerates reaction.
Try these techniques separately or combine! Change the order or try something new. If you discover a new technique, make something beautiful, or discover something unexpected, share it! When you've got that perfect, WOW finish, consider preserving it with a clear coat or brush applicable water-based, food-safe, and dishwasher safe coating like Modge Podge. Practice your finishing a on a test piece like Protognome (download here).

Now the only question is, "What will you make?"

Applications

Some application ideas include:
  • Faux brick or stone
  • Fixtures or hardware
  • Knobs or buttons
  • Heat sinks or exchangers
  • Fine art & sculpture
  • Emblems, signage, or trophies
  • Jewelry, like pendants or bracelets
  • Cosplay, game pieces, or figurines

Material Data

  • Base resin: PLA
  • Additive: Real Steel Powder
  • Particle size: less than 250 micron (0.25mm)
  • Odor: low or no
  • Density: Approx. 2.30 g/cc
  • Length (500g): 97m (1.75mm) and 36m (2.85mm)

Printer Settings

  • Speed: 10-20 mm/s 1st layer, 20-80 mm/s rest of part
  • Nozzle Set-point: 185-215C (hottest on 1st layer for best adhesion)
  • Nozzle Actual: maintain set-point, reduce speed if less than
  • Nozzle Type: Standard or wear resistant for extended use
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.6mm or larger preferred, 0.4mm okay with 0.25mm minimum for experts
  • Layer thickness: 0.15-0.20mm recommended for a balance of quality, reliability, and productivity
  • Bed Temperature: Room-60C (over 60C can worsen warp)
  • Bed Preparation: Elmers purple disappearing glue stick or your other favorite PLA surface preparation

This material has been flow optimized and has less moisture uptake than standard PLAs, however composites are still sometimes more tricky to print depending on hardware and software settings. The main challenge is to keep mass flow up (larger nozzle + fast speed) and in a single direction (minimal retraction) to avoid heat soak. More on that topic here.


Customer Reviews
4.2 Based on 41 Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
RF
09/22/2021
Royce F.
United States
Haven't had any issues yet!

Great, best filament I've used so far. Excited to try more plastic types when I run out.

A Protopasta, Filament by Protoplant Customer
T
09/16/2021
thesmart
United States United States
Looks metalic, very rigid

Print's well on a MK3S at 240/60, but I had more stringing than normal when printing other HTPLA. I might need to play with the retraction length or increase fan cooling.

Protopasta, Filament by Protoplant Steel-filled Metal Composite PLA ReviewProtopasta, Filament by Protoplant Steel-filled Metal Composite PLA Review
DK
08/31/2021
David K.
United States United States
Love the filament. Great quality

It printed super easily, I didn't even change settings from what I use for other protopasta PLA filaments. The original print was a really nice matte gray, and upon brushing with a steel brush, sanding, and polishing, it really began to look like a handmade steel piece. Really happy with it, only wish the price was lower so I could buy even more haha. One word of advice, be careful if trying to polish using rotary tools. The cloth polishing cone for my dremel tended to melt the plastic more than polish the metal, even when using polishing compound. I would recommend low speeds or use a real polishing wheel. Engraving bits worked pretty well though, and let me remove a lot of layer lines and give it a handmade look.

Protopasta, Filament by Protoplant Steel-filled Metal Composite PLA Review
DM
12/24/2020
David M.
United States United States
Great product

I have a Snapmaker 2.0 and was just doing some test prints with various types. They all performed really well. I will be using these for my high quality projects.

RT
11/03/2020
robert t.
United States United States
great product

polishes great on a lathe, made some chess pieces and they shined up really nice

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