Steel Material Information

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3D Printed Steel

Finishes
Stainless steel Stainless
Matte Bronze steel Matte Bronze
Polished Bronze steel Polished Bronze
Matte Black steel Matte Black
Polished Grey steel Polished Grey
Matte Gold steel Matte Gold
Polished Gold steel Polished Gold
Polished Nickel steel Polished Nickel
Price $6.00 handling fee
$8.00 per cm3
$7.50 handling fee
$8.00 per cm3
$9.00 handling fee
$8.00 per cm3
Ships in 12 business days 16 business days

Design Guidelines for Steel

The rules to follow in order to create successful products in Steel. Read more on model checks
Max bounding box 762 × 393 × 393 mm 330 × 190 × 228 mm

For us to be able to make a product, each of its pieces must fit within these dimensions.

For Stainless, Bronze, Black, and Grey Steel, the maximum bounding box is determined by the size of the printer we use to create your product. For Gold and Nickel Steel, the maximum bounding box is determined by our ability to apply the desired finish.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the bounding box fits within our maximum limit. If it does not, you can try scaling it down, removing unnecessary features to reduce the bounding box, or considering another material with a bigger maximum bounding box.

Min bounding box 3.0 × 3.0 × 3.0 mm

For us to be able to make a product, each of its pieces must be bigger than these dimensions.

For Steel, the minimum bounding box is determined by the printer's ability to successfully print very tiny products.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the bounding box of your product is larger than our minimum. If it is not, you can try scaling it up, thickening, combining, or enlarging parts and features, or trying a material with a smaller minimum bounding box.

Min supported wall thickness
When longest dimension of the model is  Minimum Thickness
less than 76mm 1.0 mm thick
between 76mm and 152mm 1.5 mm thick
between 152mm and 202mm 2.0 mm thick
more than 202mm 3.0 mm thick

A supported wall is one connected to other walls on two or more sides.

For Steel, the minimum supported wall is determined by our ability to successfully print your product and infuse it with bronze. Before your product is infused, it exists in a fragile "green state." Walls that are too thin will collapse at this stage, or during the infusion process.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure supported walls are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, or consider a material with a thinner minimum supported wall requirement.

Min unsupported wall thickness
When longest dimension of the model is  Minimum Thickness
less than 76mm 1.0 mm thick
between 76mm and 152mm 1.5 mm thick
between 152mm and 202mm 2.0 mm thick
more than 202mm 3.0 mm thick

An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides.

For Steel, the minimum unsupported wall is determined by our ability to successfully print your product and infuse it with bronze. Before your product is infused, it exists in a fragile "green state." Walls that are too thin will collapse at this stage, or during the infusion process.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure unsupported walls are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, adding supports, or considering a material with a thinner minimum unsupported wall requirement.

Min supported wires
When longest dimension of the model is  Minimum Thickness
less than 76mm 1.0 mm thick
between 76mm and 152mm 1.5 mm thick
between 152mm and 202mm 2.0 mm thick
more than 202mm 3.0 mm thick

A wire is a feature whose length is greater than two times its width. A supported wire is connected to walls on both sides.

For Steel, the minimum supported wire is determined by our ability to successfully print your product and infuse it with bronze. Before your product is infused, it exists in a fragile "green state." Wires that are too thin will collapse at this stage, or during the infusion process.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure supported wires are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, or consider a material with a thinner minimum supported wire requirement.

Min unsupported wires
When longest dimension of the model is  Minimum Thickness
less than 76mm 1.0 mm thick
between 76mm and 152mm 1.5 mm thick
between 152mm and 202mm 2.0 mm thick
more than 202mm 3.0 mm thick

A wire is a feature whose length is greater than two times its width. An unsupported wire is connected to walls on less than two sides.

For Steel, the minimum unsupported wire is determined by our ability to successfully print your product and infuse it with bronze. Before your product is infused, it exists in a fragile "green state." Wires that are too thin will collapse at this stage, or during the infusion process.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure unsupported wires are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, adding supports, or considering a material with a thinner minimum unsupported wire requirement.

Min embossed detail 1.0 mm high & wide

A detail is a feature whose length is less than twice its width. Embossed details stick out from a surface.

For Steel, the minimum detail is determined by the printer's resolution. When detail dimensions are below the minimum, the printer may not be able to accurately replicate them.

To ensure details come out clearly, make them larger than the indicated minimum. We may refrain from printing products with details smaller than the minimum, since the final product will not be true to your design. If your product has details smaller than the minimum, try making them larger, removing them, or considering a material with finer detail.

Min engraved detail 1.0 mm high & wide

A detail is a feature whose length is less than twice its width. Engraved or debossed details go into a surface.

For Steel, the minimum detail is determined by the printer's resolution. When detail dimensions are below the minimum, the printer may not be able to accurately replicate them.

To ensure details come out clearly, make them larger than the indicated minimum. We may refrain from printing products with details smaller than the minimum, since the final product will not be true to your design. If your product has details smaller than the minimum, try making them larger, removing them, or considering a material with finer detail.

Min escape holes 2.0 mm diameter for one escape hole

Escape holes allow unbuilt material inside hollow products to be removed.

When products are printed in Steel, steel powder is glued together by a binder material, layer by layer. Extra powder is then cleared away, and the product is infused with bronze. If hollow sections of your model do not include large enough escape holes, extra powder cannot be cleaned out successfully, and this extra powder interferes with the infusion process.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the escape holes are large enough to allow removal of the leftover steel powder. Multiple holes make this process easier. If your holes are not big enough, you can enlarge them, add more, or fill in the hollow areas so they are solid.

A single escape hole at the end of a cavity will not allow material in the corners near the escape hole to fully escape. So we recommend multiple escape holes at both ends of the cavity.

Clearance 3.0 mm clearance

Clearance is the space between any two parts, walls or wires.

Steel is printed by depositing a liquid binder onto a bed of steel powder one layer at a time. The product is then removed from the printer and infused with bronze. If the clearance between two features or parts is too small, it is difficult to remove residual powder, and bodies can be fused together during the infusion process.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make the clearance between parts, walls, and wires greater than the indicated minimum. If your clearance is too small, try making the gap bigger, or consider fusing the parts or features if their independence is unnecessary. You can also try a material with a smaller minimum clearance.

Interlocking and enclosed parts? No.

Steel is printed by depositing a liquid binder onto a bed of steel powder one layer at a time. The product is then removed from the printer and infused with bronze. While the product is being transferred from the printer to the infusion chamber, it exists in a delicate "green state" which does not support interlocking parts.

Multiple parts per model file? Yes.
Accuracy ± 1% of any dimension (and one layer thickness of 0.1mm)

These limitations are an outcome of the combined printing and infusion process. A 25mm dimension is accurate to ± 0.35mm, while a 250mm dimension is accurate to ± 2.6mm.

More On Designing for Steel

Design tips
Sandcastle Rule: If this structure was made of wet sand, would it break?

There's a part in the production process for stainless steel 3D printing during which the model is fragile and brittle. It's basically like wet sand. When you design, ask yourself this question: if I made this out of wet sand or brittle clay, could I lift the design without it breaking? If the answer is "no," then your design might break in production.

Hanging structures are more likely to break

Any model that has a hanging structure is likely to break. This includes the end piece in an unsupported, heavy object, as pictured. Another example of something that would break is a miniature of a person with an arm sticking straight out. The arm would break off.

Walls under 3mm might be printable depending on your design’s structure

In general, if your model is well supported (thicker walls weave in with thinner walls), or if your thin walls are small relative to your structure (small rings and cufflinks), you can print walls as thin as 1.5mm. To learn more about this, take a look at the Design Guidelines.

Material Info

Look and feel

A robust metal with a rough, pitted surface. Steel is available in a variety of polished and matte finishes, and good for a wide range of applications including jewelry, functional parts, and small sculptures.This material is 3D printed 420 Stainless Steel infused with bronze, and has a final composition of approximately 70% steel and 30% bronze. The way that bronze infiltrates into the steel can vary, and this changes the color of your product. If there is a higher concentration of Bronze near the surface of the product, it will take on more of Bronze's deep brown color. This has the most noticeable impact on Stainless Steel, but can also affect the shade of other finishes.

Handling and care
This material
  • is dishwasher safe
  • is watertight
  • not recyclable
  • not foodsafe

It is heat resistant to 831ºC / 1528ºF degrees. Higher temperatures may significantly change material properties.

Please note

Some people may have a nickel allergy, so we do not recommend using the Polished Nickel finish for wearable items, particularly jewelry.

How it's 3D printed

To build steel models, special 3D printers deposit small drops of glue onto layers of stainless steel powder, one layer at a time, until the print is complete. We carefully remove these models from the printer. At this stage of the process, the objects are very fragile, similar to wet sand. The models then go through an infusion process that replaces the glue with bronze, creating a full metal product. Models are then processed to achieve your desired finish, sprayed with a sealant, and shipped to you.

Technical documents

What Others Are Creating With Steel

Tools
$27.99 by yourhandsmyface
$48.59 by Tofty
$27.00 by PlainOrb
Jewelry
$275.00 by nervoussystem
$25.00 by dfoley75
$159.00 by LucasPlus
Dice
$81.97 by ceramicwombat
$70.75 by eondesigner
$21.98 by avandius
Disclaimer:
Please note that the 3D printed products are intended for decorative purposes. They are not suited to be used as toys or to be given to underage children. The products should not come into contact with electricity and be kept away from heat. Our materials, except for 3D printed glazed ceramic, are not food safe.