Featured image of Brass 3D Printing – How To 3D Print Brass
Bold as Brass

Brass 3D Printing – How To 3D Print Brass

Picture of Kenneth Randall
by Kenneth Randall
Aug 1, 2018

Brass is poor man's gold. With a bold face rivaling the appearance of precious metals, it proves that all that glitters is not gold, but in a good way. Here's the scoop on brass and how to 3D print with it.

Brass 3D Printing

Removing the plaster mold.
Removing the plaster mold. Source: Black Beard Projects / YouTube

Brass has a golden glow, low friction, and is malleable. Jewelry and musical instruments benefit from its glow and malleability, locks and gears from its low-friction attributes. And burnishing makes brass glitter like gold!

Brass is 3D printed through a process called lost-wax printing and casting. To create an object using this technique, one must

  • 3D print a wax model,
  • fill the model with plaster,
  • incinerate the wax — hence the “lost-wax” — when the plaster sets,
  • pour molten brass into the new plaster mold, and finally
  • break the plaster when the brass sets.

Because of the ease of creating a wax model, in some ways 3D printing is better than traditional methods for producing brass objects.

For engraving and fine detail, the diameter should be a minimum of 0.35 millimetres, with equal width and depth. The distance between detail items must be a minimum of 0.3 millimetres to prevent items from fusing.

The disadvantage is that brass objects can contain neither nested objects, connected parts nor hollow areas. That’s because the wax model simply cannot accommodate them.

How To 3D Print in Brass

"3D Rex" by Octavio Asensio
"3D Rex" by Octavio Asensio Source: i.Materialise

A number of companies provide brass 3D printing services. In each case, the customer uploads an STL file, specifies options, like materials, and the company prints and delivers the item. Naturally, differences exist in price and turnaround time for each company.

For an even easier experience, check out All3DP’s Price Comparison Service for real-time price checking of the major 3D printing services.

Best 3D Printing Services Compared
Product image of Price comparison

All3DP's 3D Printing Price Comparison

The highest quality for the best price. Upload your model safely via SSL and receive instant prices from the world's leading providers.

  • i.Materialise: i.Materialise provides users with a plethora of information. A help page about 3D printing includes tutorials, and added to that is a forum, blog and beginner’s guide. For brass, they offer many different finishes for brass.
  • Sculpteo: Sculpteo has a slightly different brass alloy containing 5% tin and offers specific information on designing in brass.
  • Shapeways: Shapeways features tutorials on a variety of topics, including how to open a shop through their website.
  • 3D Hubs: 3D Hubs has an instant quote service, an extensive catalog of materials, a vast knowledge base and a newsletter.
  • Sloris: Sloris is a boutique jewelry maker. It’s a simple site but does include a blog.

License: The text of "Brass 3D Printing – How To 3D Print Brass" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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