Copper Filamet Pellets View larger

Copper Filamet™ pellets

The Virtual Foundry

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259,80 €
259,80 €

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Copper Filamet™ pellets for making metal filament or using pellet extruder.

Copper Filamet™ pellets are small cylinders made of PLA with a copper metal filler. These pellets are composed of 89 % metal and the rest of PLA.

PLA (polylactic acid) is a biodegradable plastic obtained from natural resources such as starch extracted from corn, sugar beet and wheat. PLA is one of the most widely used materials in 3D printing today because it does not give off harmful gases and is easy to print.

Copper is characterised by its reddish colour, its brightness, but above all, for being one of the best conductors of electricity, being such a high value that it has been assigned as the maximum value of the electrical conductivity reference (IACS). Copper shows great ductility and malleability, ease of rolling and forging, and even ease of soldering. This metal is used in electrical conductivity applications (wiring, electrical equipment or integrated circuits), dissipative and corrosion-resistant elements (brakes, bearings or catenaries), water transport products (pipes) and, in the past, for the manufacture of decorative elements and coins. Given the myriad applications in which copper is used, it is not surprising that it is the third most widely consumed metal in the world.

In addition to the intrinsic properties of copper, The Virtual Foundry's (TVF) Copper Filamet™ pellets are perfect for 3D printing, achieving high print quality, and stand out from other metal-filled materials by allowing the user to obtain all-metal parts after a sintering process. 

Ships printed with Filamet copperImage 1: Ships made from unsintered copper, after debinding and finally sintering. Source: The Virtual Foundry

During the sintering process of 3D printed parts with these pellets, the PLA is removed, resulting in fully metallic parts with the real properties of metal, but with some porosity and a reduction in volume due to the loss of PLA.

The Copper Filamet™ pellets are free of exposed metal particles and volatile solvents that may be released during the 3D printing process, making it a safe material for 3D printing. Furthermore, due to their PLA content, they are very easy to process. There are several methods for using pellets in 3D printing:

  • Copper Filamet™ pellets can be used in the manufacture of filament for FDM 3D printers using Filastruder or any other filament extruder.
  • It is possible to use a pellet extruder directly.

When using Copper Filamet™ pellets to make filament with a filament extruder such as Filastruder or using a pellet extruder for direct 3D printing, it should be noted that the extrusion temperature must be regulated in relation to the extrusion speed used. For optimal results, it is recommended to read the product's usage tips.

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Due to the high amount of metal particles, clogging may occur in nozzles with a diameter of 0.4 mm, so it is recommended to use nozzles with an outlet diameter of more than 0.5 mm.

As far as infill, the average recommended amount is 30-70 % but it largely depends on what kind of part the user wants to obtain and whether the part will be sintered or not. For more indepth information please watch this video:

Video 1: The recommended infill for the TVF materials. Source: TVF.

It is very important to store Copper Filamet™ pellets pellets in an airtight bag to prevent them from absorbing moisture from the environment before use. If the pellets have moisture in them, the filament to be manufactured may contain small imperfections.

Once the filament has been manufactured using Copper Filamet™ pellets, it is also recommended to store the filament in a dry place or in an airtight bag. This prevents the filament from absorbing moisture, thus obtaining better results during 3D printing.

Whether using a filament extruder such as Filastruder or a direct pellet extruder, parts 3D printed with Copper Filamet™ pellets must undergo a sintering process to achieve all-metal parts:

Sintering process

Necessary materials:

  • Metallurgical furnace.
  • Refractory crucible
  • Refractory powder
  • Sinter coal

STEP 1: Placing the piece

  1. Fill the crucible with refractory powder leaving 25 mm free on the surface of the crucible.
  2. Immerse the piece in the refractory powder making sure to leave a gap of at least 15 mm between the surface of the piece and the walls and upper and lower parts of the crucible. The refractory powder must not be compacted.
  3. Place the crucible in the furnace.

STEP 2: Thermal Debind.

  1. Heat at a rate of 55.6 ºC/h until 482 ºC is reached.
  2. Maintain at 482 °C for 4 hours.
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Turn off the oven and unplug it to turn off the power.
  5. Remove the piece and the refractory powder from the crucible.

STEP 3: Preparation for sintering

  1. Fill the crucible with refractory powder leaving 25 mm free on the surface of the crucible.
  2. Immerse the workpiece in the refractory powder making sure to leave a clearance of at least 15 mm between the surface of the workpiece and the walls and top and bottom of the crucible. Do not compact the refractory powder.
  3. Cover the surface with 25 mm of sintering charcoal. If possible, place a lid on the crucible (without sealing it, it is used to preserve the sintering charcoal).
  4. Return the crucible to the furnace.

STEP 4: Sintering

  1. Heat at a rate of 111.1 ºC/h to 1052 ºC.
  2. Hold at 1052 ºC for 5 hours*.

STEP 5: Cooling

  1. 2 Allow to cool to room temperature.

* Recommended time for a bucket of up to 50mm. For larger pieces it will be necessary to increase the time.

Users who do not have a furnace with the necessary properties to sinter parts printed with  copper Filamet pellets and achieve the final properties of this metal, can contact us and we will assess their viability through our collaborators with the capacity to carry out the necessary post-processing to obtain the desired final result.

General information
Manufacturer The Virtual Foundry (USA)
Material Copper (89 %) + PLA 
Format -
Density 4.5 g/cm3
Amount of metal (volume) 66 %
Amount of metal (mass) 89 %
Diameter of filament -
Diameter tolerance
Color Reddish
RAL/Pantone  -
Print settings
Printing temperature 205 - 215 ºC
Temperatura de base/cama 50 ºC (optional)
FilaWarmer temperature (1) -
Print bed temperature -
Chamber temperature -
Print speed -
Nozzle diameter -
Recommended infill -
Sintering properties
Container Refractory Crucible
Refractory powder Al2O3
Maximum temperature 1074 ºC
Mechanical properties
Izod impact strength -
Charpy impact strength -
Elongation at break -
Tensile strength -
Tensile Modulus -
Flexural strength -
Flexural modulus -
Surface hardness -
Thermal properties
Softening temperature 55 ºC
Melting temperature 1083 ºC
Specific properties
Transparency  Opaque
Radiation protection (without sintering) No
Additional Information
HS Code 7406.1

* The typical values detailed in this table should be considered as a reference. For more information you should consult the technical data sheet of the product.

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