Colorfabb Bronzefill - Printing and Post Processing
I was very excited when I first heard about Colorfabb BronzeFill filament, and I'm pleased to say I haven't been dissapointed! It is now one of my favorite filaments. However, getting the desired look can take a bit of work. Here are a few tips I've found to get good results.
I like to print with at least 100micron (0.1) resolution to help hide the layers as much as possible. It also makes the sanding that much easier.
Print as you would normal PLA, with good air flow also. I found the use of a heated bed isn't necessary and can make the part difficult to remove, especially with BuildTak.
Raft removal can also be a little difficult so isn't recommended but support has been quite easy to deal with, but as the material is quite expensive I try to use it sparingly. Simplify 3D's ability to drag and drop support is a great help here.
Adding another perimeter or two to the model will also make sanding easier, especially around curved tops where the layer spacing can spread out a bit.
Lastly, printing with 50+ infill gives the model a realistic weight, adding to the illusion that the part was cast from bronze.
When the part is first printed it has a sandstone kind of look to it, and looks nothing like bronze. Don't worry this is normal.
Begin sanding with 160-180 grit wet and dry paper and try to remove any signs of layering. Be careful not to over sand though. Wash the part and look at it under a bright light to see your progress.
Next I use steel to get into the finer parts of the model that the sandpaper couldn't reach. This also helps give the BronzeFill a pitted look, which is quite nice by itself. Keep the steel wool wet and wear gloves to avoid any nasty steel fibres in your fingers.
Finally apply Brasso with a dry cloth and start polishing the surface. This is probably the hardest part and can take some time. You might need a few applications to get the desired look.
Wash the part with soapy water to remove any residue and you are all done!