3D Printing with Stainless Steel PLA: Tips and Tricks

3D Printing with Stainless Steel PLA

The Countdown to Christmas Continues with Our 25 Days of Materials, up next is Stainless Steel PLA

3D Printed Advent CalendarTis the season to be jolly, join the Wolfpack in a fun 25 Days of Materials 3D printing countdown to Christmas and learn about 25 different materials and their unique properties! The objects to be 3D printed are part of the Advent Calendar/Christmas Tree designed by pleppik.  Every day we will be unveiling a new part of the Advent Calendar and talking about a different special 3D printing material.

Day 3: Sled. 3D Printing with Stainless Steel PLA

3D Printed SledFollowing the Wolfpack’s 25 Days of Materials 3D printing countdown is a ”Toboggan/Sled” 3D printed with Stainless Steel PLA. Stainless Steel PLA is 93% heavier than regular 3D printing PLA filament. 3D printed parts will have an astonishing weight to them. You can additionally make your printed parts appear to be solid metal if you polish them. It is also wonderful for making realistic replicas or giving prototypes an industrial feel and aesthetic.

Some interesting facts about Stainless Steel PLA:

  • Stainless Steel PLA is a PLA based filament that has finely grounded stainless-steel particles mixed in.
  • Because of the high-temperature gradient and speed rate of its solidification,Stainless Steel PLA NecklaceStainless Steel PLA  manufactured through 3D printing has a tendency to have more refined mmicrostructures turning results into higher mechanical properties.
  • Stainless Steel PLA is perfect material for costumes, models and figurines, props, and even jewelry.

3D Printing with Stainless Steel PLA: Tips and Tricks

  • Build Plate Tape for PLAPlace a Build Plate Tape for PLA before starting your print on the bed to prevent your part from warping. One pack of Build Plate Tape contains 5 pieces, which will last for several print jobs and it’s medium adhesion allows for easy application and removal to the build plate. No more messing around with strips of tape to coat your bed!
  • Stainless Steel PLA prints best with the bed set at 50° C.
  • Set your hot end temperature to 195 – 220° C when 3D printing with Stainless Steel PLA.

Finishing Techniques when 3D Printing with Stainless Steel PLA:

You’ll notice that in an unfinished form, prints with Stainless Steel PLA look like cast metal. You could leave your awesome 3D printed parts that way or you could also apply different methods to get different results.

  • Wheel Polishing: The most amazing results are achieved by slightly polishing prints using a polishing wheel (a wheel that contains layers of soft cloth, attached to a bench grinder, you can buy smaller wheels for drills) and Fabulustre Cut and Polish Compound (or any similar polishing compound). Apart from it’s the eye-catching shine finish, it is also possible to remove unwanted layer lines with this method.
  • Wire Brushing: Try this method by plainly rubbing back and forth with a stiff wire brush. It will give your 3D printed part an increased shine to it, but it won’t remove print lines.
  • Rock Polisher: Small 3D printed parts can be tumbled for 24+ hours with different types of corrosive materials to obtain a variety of finishes. One of them is steel shot.
Did you know?

It was in 1912 that austenitic stainless steel was patented by Krupp engineers – Benno Strauss and Eduard Maurer. In 1913, Portland Works in Sheffield, UK, became the first place in the world to make stainless steel cutlery.

Are you ready to start 3D Printing with Stainless Steel PLA? Awesome! You can buy some Stainless Steel PLA filament here http://www.matterhackers.com/store/3d-printer-filament/proto-pasta-stainless-steel-pla-3.00mm?rcode=Airwolf.

More materials to Follow!

Below is a chart to list a few of the 3D printing filaments that we will be discussing over the next 25 Days of Materials .

25 Days of Materials.
Day 1: Nylon.
Day 2: HIPS.25 days of 3d printing materials


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