Stainless Steel PLA

FAQ:

What is it made out of?

Is it stronger?

Is it conductive?

Finishing Techniques

Spool Amount: Density vs. Length

Printer Settings

Stainless Steel PLA (shop here)

Proto-pasta Stainless Steel PLA is a dense material that prints as easily as standard PLA but results in heavy prints that can be finished post-print to achieve amazing results. Perfect for jewelry, costumes, props, figurines, crafting, robots, and more!

What is it made out of?

Proto-pasta Stainless Steel PLA is a compound of Natureworks 4043D PLA and finely ground, powderized stainless steel. In filament form, it is rather brittle, and should be handled with care to avoid breakage.
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Is it stronger?

No. Proto-pasta Stainless Steel offers the aesthetic and density of metal, but because the stainless steel is finely powderized and encased in PLA, it is not stronger than standard PLA.
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Is it conductive?

No. The stainless steel is too small and separated by the PLA to offer any noticeable amount of conductivity. You should try our Conductive PLA!
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Finishing Techniques

In an unfinished form, prints look like cast metal. They can be left that way, or finished through a variety of methods to achieve different results. Here are some of the methods we have tried so far:

  • Wire Brushing: Simply rubbing back and forth with a stiff wire brush will give your print increased shine, but will not remove print lines.
  • Rock Polisher: Small prints can be tumbled for 24+ hours with abbrasive materials for a variety of finishes. We recommed steel shot.
  • Wheel Polishing: The most brilliant results were achieved by lightly polishing prints using a polishing wheel (a wheel with layers of soft cloth, attached to a bench grinder, you can buy smaller wheels for drills) and Fabulustre Cut and Polish Compound (or similar polishing compound). Aside from the eye-catching shine, it is also possible to remove layer lines with this method.

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Spool Amount: Density vs. Length

3D printer filament is sold in grams /kg, even in the case of exotic materials with greater density. Our Stainless Steel PLA is quite dense compared to standard PLA. As a result, a 500 g spool of Stainless Steel PLA contains about 90 meters of filament, vs. nearly 200 meters on a 500 g spool of standard PLA.
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Printer Settings

Proto-pasta Stainless Steel PLA prints well using standard PLA settings, however, it may have trouble getitng through smaller nozzles. We have had good success printing at 215° C using a .5mm nozzle and direct-drive spring loaded pinch-roll style extrusion head.

Density:
2.4 g/cm3 (2400 kg/m3)

Parameters:
Bed Temp (if available, is not required): 50° C
Hot End Temp: 195 – 220° C
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