Metal Powder Filaments


I like metal powder infused filaments, they’re fun to use and whether unprocessed or polished, and can produce prints that look and feel very different from the normal plastics. Not all the metal filaments have these benefits though, there’s a big difference between metal powder filaments and metal colored filaments, and many filaments fall somewhere between.  Metal colored filaments can produce great results and are much more affordable, but I’m mostly comparing filaments that have or claim to have actual metal in them.

The table below lists metal powder infused filaments and their metal contents as claimed by the manufacturers or distributors (as of June 2016, at least as far as I’ve been able to determine).  Some filaments list density, some list percent by weight, some give a percentage with no context. I would not put much faith in some of these numbers, but it should give you some sense of what to expect from them. While the higher density filaments generally have more metal content and are nicer, keep in mind you also get a lot less filament per kg, sometimes as much as 60-70% less.


BrandMetalPlasticDensity (g/cm3)% Metallinknotes
Colorfabb BrassFillBrassPLAsimilar to bronzefillsimilar to bronzefillamazon*more greenish than gold in color
Colorfabb BronzeFillBronzePLA3.9~80% by weightamazon*
Colorfabb CopperfillCopperPLAsimilar to bronzefillimilar to bronzefillamazon*nice copper shine when polished
ESunBronzePLA1.27amazon*samples don't seem to have any detectable metal content
ESunCopperPLA2.46intservosamples I've seen looked more brown than copper colored
Filament InnovationsCopperPLA10%amazon*the 40% metal content versions have 2016 in the title, this may be older stock.
Filament InnovationsBronzePLA40%amazon*
Filament InnovationsRed CopperPLA40%amazon*
Filament InnovationsAluminumPLA40%amazon*
GMASSBismuthABS2.7amazon*comes in different colors
ProtoPastaMagnetic IronPLA1.8amazon*magnetic and can be rusted.
ProtoPastaStainless SteelPLA2.4amazon*
SainsmartPlated CopperPLAamazon*
SainsmartRed CopperPLA40%amazon*
Virtual Foundry FilametBronzeABS85%virtual foundry
Virtual Foundry FilametBronzePLA4.285+%virtual foundrysimilar in density to Colorfabb's bronzefill, but is more metallic in appearance when polished.
Virtual Foundry FilametCopperPLA87.75%virtual foundry


For reference, here’s the approximate density of some of the metals used in these filaments.

MaterialApproximate Density (g/cm³)
Brass8.4 - 8.7
Bronze7.7 - 8.9
Stainless Steel7.8 - 8.0


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