Bronze Kinematics, Desktop Printed

Kinematics bracelet printed with Colorfabb "Bronzefill"
Kinematics bracelet printed with Colorfabb “Bronzefill”

We’re excited that more metal-printing options are becoming available! Not long ago we showed you an 18K Gold Kinematics sample — now it’s time for an 80% bronze sample, which is special partly because it’s extruded (as opposed to sintered, which is the norm for metal prints).

ColorFabb has been working on printable metal for desktop 3D printers. We asked them for a sample piece of Kinematics printed in their new Bronzefill material, and they were nice enough to send us one!

It's heavier than it looks!
It’s heavier than it looks!

BronzeFill is a filament for FDM 3D printers composed of 80% bronze powder embedded in PLA/PHA bio-plastic. The material is four times heavier than standard PLA. With a density of ~4 g/cm^3, it has the heft of real metal. The printed Kinematics piece is satisfyingly heavy, and the interlocking modules move like any other Kinematics part. However, we found that it is quite brittle. One link of the bracelet was printed fused together, and it was not possible to loosen that joint due to the brittleness of the material.

As Colorfabb mentions on their product page, the Bronzefill media is not “shiny” when it prints, but can be polished to become so. We attempted to polish the Kinematics bracelet by tumbling it for seven hours in a rotary tumbler with stainless steel media. This worked somewhat, improving the surface finish of the matte print to a mild luster.

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