Brass is an alloy composed of 80% copper, 15% zinc, and 5% tin. It is a relatively lightweight metal. Plus, it is one of the less expensive metals, making it a great option for 3D printing jewelry or other wearable items.
3D printing with Brass, however, is different than typical 3D printing methods. Instead of 3D printing the model directly, a master mold is 3D printed. The metal is then poured inside to set into the desired shape. This is useful for small scale manufacturing.
Because Brass resembles Gold, it is commonly used for decorative purposes. However, it also has good heat and electrical conductivity. Therefore it also can be used in mechanical and functional applications, as well.
Brass has both good heat and electrical conductivity and is wear- and spark resistant. Brass is durable, strong, corrosion-resistant, conductive and ductile. As such, it is typically used to make fasteners and corrosion-resistant mechanical products.
For more specifications, the table below shows the exact properties of Brass.
Brass models are 3D printed through casting. Casting is a common technique that uses molds to produce a small series of functional metal parts. It is particularly useful for fast production of high-quality prototypes or end-use products.
3D printing is useful in this technology to print the original wax model. This is often completed through stereolithography (SLA) technology with a high-detailed finish. The mold is then cast around the wax model. Once set, the wax model is melted and drained, leaving a void in the shape of the model in the mold. Then, the mold can be filled with Brass. This method is ideal for producing jewelry and other small-sized metal components.
Thickness & Geometry
The maximum size of the model will depend on the print bed of the 3D printer. It is not advised to 3D print the model in parts to be assembled. The minimum size will depend on the casting. Please refer to the specific casting type for these specifications. Models that are too small will not be able to be filled.
The minimum wall thickness for Brass is 0.8 mm to ensure it can hold its own weight. If a wall thickness of less than 0.8 mm is desired, you may need to choose a different material that can be used for thinner designs.
For small details, a minimum spacing of 0.3 mm is required to ensure the wax does not get trapped.