Feb. 20, 2015 | By Simon

Although PLA and ABS filaments have been among the most popular materials for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printers, recent announcements from MakerBot and smaller filament producers have set the course for an even wider scope of materials that will be both affordable and widely-accessible.  Among others, Bradley Wood of The Virtual Foundry, a 3D printing enthusiast with a penchant for metals, has recently launched a new Kickstarter campaign that he hopes artists and makers will help support in order to bring his metal filament to market.

With a focus on creating fully-metallic items directly from a desktop 3D printer, Woods’ Filamet contains up to 85% pure metal in options ranging from bronze to brass and copper.  

While Woods is quick to note that the finished 3D prints won’t contain all of the physical properties as a pure cast metal sculpture, he emphasizes that the most vital properties are successfully retained - particularly the visual appearance.  He also emphasizes that the metal filament provides an opportunity to use finishing techniques that have been used for centuries in the case that an artist or maker wants to replicate age-old manufacturing techniques.  Woods compares this to Rodins’ The Thinker, whose bronze finish can be successfully replicated directly from a desktop.      

Perhaps most interestingly however, is that Woods and his team are focusing on using the funds raised from their Kickstarter campaign to further develop their filaments to have more natural metal properties including conductive and magnetic properties - which could ultimately lead to an artist, designer or maker to create a working electronic motor directly from their desktop 3D printer.   

Additionally, Woods and team are working to adapt tools commonly used in jewelry design to help in the cleanup and repair of metal 3D prints.  Their research has led them to develop techniques for repairing a 3D print without the need to start an entire printing process over from scratch - an attribute that can surely save money when it comes to costly filaments.  

Brad Woods, Inventor

Glenn Prescott, Machinist

Wiliiam L. Howard, Master Metalsmith

Although the team has been primarily focused on metals, they haven’t fully-forgotten the more common plastic filaments.  They have also stated that there is a filament material in the works that is made from recycled plastics and they hope to launch it in the near future.  

Interestingly, Woods is a project manager by trade who specializes in breaking down complex projects into bite-sized manageable pieces for various team members.  With this in mind, anybody who purchases Filamet is likely to see their product delivered in a timely manner.  

For those interested, $60 gets you started with either the copper, bronze or brass Filamet in a ½ KG spool in either 1.75mm or 3mm filament sizes.  For those who want to try all three, the team has established a Kickstarter Reward that includes all three material types in 1KG spools for $310.  The filament also includes an ABS or PLA binder to ensure that it is fed properly through the appropriate 3D printer.   

This item was 3D printed and then treated with the electroforming process.

In the near future, Filamet is hoping to dramatically reduce the cost of their filament by creating their own powdered materials, however they state that the success of this Kickstarter project is the first step of the process.


Posted in 3D Printing Materials


Maybe you also like:


Bradley Woods wrote at 2/26/2015 8:58:53 PM:

Hi Simon, My name is Brad Woods, I'm the inventor of Filamet. Will you please send me an email at your convenience? bardley.woods@gmail.com Thank you, -Brad

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive