NEW: Natural and Polished Copper
LEARN MORE

Copper

Pure Copper (100% Copper)

Colors

Copper color swatch

About Copper

Copper is 100% copper formed through a lost wax casting process. It has a red-orange color that oxidizes over time turning the surface a darker brown, blue, or greenish color depending on the environment. Each copper part is 3D printed in a wax material which is used to create a mold for investment casting. Lost wax casting is capable of showcasing intricate details, offering a professional, finished look and feel that oxidizes over time creating a corrosion resistant boundary layer on the surface of the part.

Common Applications

Heat Exchangers, Marine Accessories, Home Decor, Prototypes

Material Properties

Checkmark
Good electrical & thermal conductivity
Checkmark
Capable of intricate details
Checkmark
Corrosion resistant

Handling and Care

Like all Copper, our Polished and Natural offerings will oxidize over time resulting in a green, blue, or brown patina on the surface. You can accelerate the oxidation process by exposing copper to various chemicals and slow the process by adding a protective coating such as clear nail polilsh to your copper product.

Skin-Friendly
High Electrical Conductivity
Heats Quickly

Upload a file to get started

Frequently Asked Questions

What finishes are available?

Natural: Light polishing to achieve a matte, somewhat rough surface
Polished: Hand-polished to achieve a smooth, shiny surface

How long will it take before I receive a model in this material?

Production times depend on the model size and chosen finish, but usually products ship in 9 business days with Priority manufacturing. The shipping time depends on your location and your chosen speed.

How is this material made?

The manufacturing process is lost wax casting. First, the model is printed in wax using a specialized high-resolution 3D Printer. It is then put in a container where liquid plaster is poured in around it. Once the plaster sets, it is placed in a furnace to melt the wax out creating a mold. Molten Copper is poured into this mold and set to harden. The plaster is broken away, revealing your new product. Natural Copper is briefly tumbled to remove any excess material. Polished Copper is carefully cleaned and hand polished for a shiny finish. Please be aware that polishing can wear down edges or fill in very fine details and inaccessible internal cavities will remain unpolished.

Will Copper oxidize or tarnish?

Yes. The surface of any Copper part will begin oxidizing as soon as it comes in contact with air. This can be beneficial as it creates a boundary layer making the part more resistant to corrosion and biofouling. The appearance of the part, however, will change organically over time, as a brown, green, and/or blue patina forms on the surface giving the part a naturally weathered look. The color of the patina depends on the chemical makeup of the part’s surrounding environment. The oxidation process can be accelerated by exposing the part to various chemicals or it can be slowed by adding a protective coating but it cannot be prevented entirely.

More Materials

Professional Finish

Great Value

Capable of intricate details

Applications
Pendants
Tie Bars
Home Decor
Technology
Lost Wax Casting
Professional Finish
Capable of intricate details
Great Value
Applications
Pendants
Tie Bars
Home Decor
Technology
Lost Wax Casting
  • Bounding Box
  • Wall Thickness
  • Wires
  • Surface Details
  • Escape Holes
  • Clearance
  • Interlocking Parts
  • Multiple Parts
  • Accuracy
  • Design Tips
  • Pricing

BOUNDING BOX

Maximum
89mm x 89mm x 100mm
Minimum
2.4mm x 2.4mm x 0.6mm

Your model should be within the minimum and maximum bounding box sizes. The maximum bounding box represents the largest model that our printers can produce. The minimum bounding box size is the smallest dimension in which we can print in this material.

WALL THICKNESS

Min Supported Wall Thickness
0.6mm (Natural Copper)
0.8mm (Polished Copper)
Min Unsupported Wall Thickness
0.6mm (Natural Copper)
0.8mm (Polished Copper)

A supported wall is connected on at least two sides. Walls in your model must meet the minimum measurements to ensure it survives the printing and cleaning process. Thin walls are prone to warping during printing and are fragile to clean. Objects that meet the minimum requirements may still be rejected based on the geometry in which case our production team will communicate with you if the design needs improvements and can assist you to strengthen your model.

WIRES

Min Supported Wires
0.8mm
Min Unsupported Wires
1mm

A geometry is considered a wire when it is thinner in both unconnected directions than its length. Wires that are under our suggested minimums are prone to breaking in the cleaning process.

SURFACE DETAILS

Min embossed detail

0.3mm high & wide (Natural Copper)
0.4mm high & wide (Polished Copper)
Min engraved detail

0.3mm deep & wide (Natural Copper)
0.35mm deep & wide (Polished Copper)

We recommend these minimum measurements for details like embossing or engraving, based on printer resolution.

ESCAPE HOLES

Single Escape Hole Diameter
4.0 mm
Multiple Escape Hole Diameter
2.0 mm

Escape holes allow unbuilt material inside hollow products to be removed.
To create Copper products, a plaster mold is poured around a wax print of your product, and then Copper is cast into the plaster mold. For products with hollow areas, escape holes are essential for two parts of this process. First, the liquid plaster must be able to enter the hole to fill in the hollow area. Then, once the metal is cast, the escape hole must be large enough to allow removal of the hardened plaster from the hollow area. If escape holes are too small, the hollow area may be completely filled in with metal or plaster.

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

0.3mm

Clearance is the space between two parts, e.g. space between gears or a ball and socket joint.

INTERLOCKING AND ENCLOSED PARTS ?

No. Models with interlocking or enclosed parts cannot be ordered in Copper.

MULTIPLE PARTS ?

Up to 2 identical parts (like earrings or cufflinks) may be uploaded in the same model file. We cannot accept multiple, unique parts ordered in the same model file; there should be one file for each unique part.

ACCURACY

±0.125mm
Models can shrink about 2.5% after casting and finishing. For rings, we do our best to polish the internal diameter to match the dimensions of your model file.

DESIGN TIPS

Some details are lost during polishing

Polishing gives this material a beautiful finish, but can have an impact on fine details. During the polishing step, fine or sharp-edged details may be polished down or even broken off. Keep this in mind when you're designing fine details.

Internal cavities can not be polished

We can only polish well-reachable surfaces, so tight internal spaces may remain unpolished.

This material will leave green stains on the skin after long term wear

Copper will react with chemicals on the skin and leave green stains. The staining is harmless, but often undesired. This material is therefore less suited for rings.

Keep embossed and engraved details shallow

Engraved details must not be too deep, and embossed details must not be too tall. The width of your detail must be the same or greater than how far it juts out from the surface (or sinks in for engraving). Engraved details that are too deep will cause issues when casting. Embossed details that are too tall are more likely to chip and break during production (unless the detail meets the minimum wall requirements).

Stone holding prongs should be short

Prongs for holding stones cannot be too long without anything connecting them. This connecting beam is to prevent the wax from breaking away. Also, with thin and long prongs, the product will not be able to hold big stones. Make sure your stone will sit snug and tight.

PRICING

How will the price of my model be calculated?

  • Material Volume - the amount of material needed to 3D print your product
  • Production - associated production costs including labor; quality control; machine maintenance; general utilities; and other supporting services required to 3D print your product

What is the minimum price per model?

  • Natural - $17.50
  • Polished - $20

Logo

Hello.

We're sorry to inform you that we no longer support this browser and can't confirm that everything will work as expected. For the best Shapeways experience, please use one of the following browsers:

Click anywhere outside this window to continue.