Temperature Guidelines:

copperFill and bronzeFill prints with your standard PLA settings. Heated bed is not required. For a good adhesion to the platform, we recommend blue painter's tape. 

Recommended settings:

  • extruder temperature: 190 - 225°C
  • platform temperature: 0 - 50°C
  • shells: 2 - 4
  • resolution: .1mm
  • infill: 10%-50%

Compatible Extruders

Direct drive and bowden extruders systems are compaitable with both materials. Colorfabb warns against using any hot-ends which use a teflon isolator coupler, as the filament has been shown to clog these devices.

Resolution

Higher resolutions of 100 microns will help get a smoother shine quicker, without the risk of leaving the part in the tumbler for too long. 200 microns will leave ridges where the layers meet, making it more difficault to smooth out later.

Cleaning Prints

Use flush diagonal cutters and a hobby knife to remove the excess material left behind during printing. You can use your fingers to rub away the loose bits. Use a hobby knife to get in between crevices and remove tiny artifacts.

Tumbling medium

Abrasive material is needed to help bring out the copper metal shine. We used brass screws of different sizes for surface finishing, deburring and polishing. Use wood brass screws sizes #00 to get into the small nooks and crannies of parts, while #2, #4, #6 are used for bigger areas of the model. You'll want to use a good amount of screws - about 50 to 100 screws should be enough to get a good shine. Water or any other liquid is not required.

Tumbler

This 3 lbs tumbler can hold prints that are 90mm tall by 85mm wide. Tumble times vary depeding on how big and complex the model is.

Small prints (20mm x 20mm): 6 hours

Medium prints (80mm x 30mm): 18 hours

Large prints (90mm x 85mm) 36 hours

You’ll want to periodically check (about once an hour) on your print to make sure it’s still in one piece.

Clean Up

Avoid getting dust on your hands, be sure to use gloves to remove your parts after tumbling as the screws grind together and create metal particles. Use a brush and shop towel to clean off the rest of the dust and particles. Be sure to clean in a well ventilated area.

Before and After

If the model doesn't make it out of the tumbler in one piece, don't worry, some models can easily be glued back together. You can also try using more shells/parameters to strength the model and try again! 

This guide was first published on Jan 31, 2015. It was last updated on Jan 31, 2015. This page (Usage) was last updated on May 18, 2019.