Brass is beautiful, according to two leading 3D printing service bureaus this week.

At i.materialise, brass is one of the most popular metal 3D printing materials, and due to popular demand, the company has decided to offer a new option to make it even more affordable. Until now, i.materialise has offered several different finishes for its brass parts: Natural PU Coating, Yellow Gold Plated Polish, Red Gold Plated Polish, Rhodium Plated Polish, Chrome Plated Polish, and Black Color Plated Polish. It hasn’t been offered in its raw state until now, but customers now have the option to order Untreated Brass, or basic brass.

Untreated brass has no polish applied to it, and has several appealing factors. It offers a nice vintage look, as it will oxidize over time, but i.materialise warns that you should go for a polish if you want to avoid your pieces turning green or black over time. Because it doesn’t go through post-processing, fine details are more visible, though print lines are as well. It’s also the most affordable option, so it’s great for beginners or makers on a budget. No matter which finish you select, however, brass is a strong choice if you’re not wanting to spend too much money.

“Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is well-known for being a versatile material with a good level of detail,” i.materialise explains. “Commonly used for jewelry, small sculptures and miniatures, brass has the shine of gold at a better price!”

(L) Natural brass with PU coating, (R) Untreated brass

Sculpteo, meanwhile, is offering several brand new coatings for its brass material. Sculpteo’s brass is made from 82% copper and 18% zinc, and is frequently used to make jewelry or decorative items.

“Our brass models can stand extended skin contact, and will cause no harm to the skin in doing so,” Sculpteo states. “The final brass product is robust but may be subject to scratching and tarnishes when exposed in air. This happens because brass is oxidised in air, especially in humid conditions. Fortunately though, you can avoid the effect of oxidation, by plating your brass models with any of our new plating options: White Rhodium, Black Rhodium, Gold plating and Pink Gold plating.”

Until now, Sculpteo offered two finishing options for its brass pieces: Raw Finish, which is essentially what i.materialise’s Untreated Brass is, and Mirror Polish, which is post-processed and polished for a shiny look. Now you can get your brass pieces in color, with four new plating options:

  • White Rhodium, in which a process of electroplating covers the object with white rhodium for a silver look
  • Black Rhodium, which gives the appearance of a shiny dark gray object
  • Gold Plating, in which a thin layer of gold is deposited onto the surface of the object
  • Pink Gold Plating, the same process as gold plating, except with pink gold

Each of the plating options protects your item from oxidation.

With these new options, Sculpteo and i.materialise are now offering more choices for brass items, so no matter which service bureau you decide to go with, you’ll have plenty of options to select from when ordering your brass 3D printed jewelry or other pieces. The biggest question is which option to go with – they’re all quite beautiful.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Source/Images: i.materialiseSculpteo]

 

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