Today we’re going to share our review of Tesla aluminum filament for 3D printers with you. This 3D filament falls into the “exotic filaments” category, which includes filaments that are more than just basic PLA, ABS or other filaments partially made of wood or metal.
So, you have a 3D printer and you want to print out parts that give the resemblance of aluminum? Say perhaps like a steampunk motorbike? Then you must try this! This filament contains 20% aluminum powder, 78% PLA and 2% color additive.
Print temperature : 205-215 (depending on your printer)
Dryness : 99.99%
Roundness : ±0.05mm
Spool center : Ø54mm
NET Weight : no less then 500G
Gross Weight : no less then 750G
Tesla Aluminum Filament
For this 3D filament review we conducted several tests in order to see if it was possible to get the surfaces smooth and the filament to shine.
We have used a lot of metal filaments and filaments that tried to look like metal. None of the other filaments that I’ve tried have performed like this filament.
The Tesla Aluminum filament is the best metal PLA that I’ve printed with. We used 1.75mm diameter and 500G of filament to test and print amazing things like a full model of Ghost Rider and his motorbike.
This filament was tested on the Tevo Tornado. The first thing that we printed was a small vase to see how smooth the surfaces were and to see if sanding it down would get an aluminum shine to it. Needless to say, the vase printed out great!
When sanding aluminum filament you will start to notice that there are particles of aluminum. The Tesla Aluminum filament sands a lot better than standard PLA, but not as good as some of the wood filament that we have used in the past.
First sanded with 120 grit sandpaper and then moved to 1200 grit sandpaper. We finished it up by polishing it using our Dremel. We used a polishing pad and t-cut with the Dremel. You will start to notice a shine but it takes a while to get this result. Just be patient and work between the two different grades of sandpaper. Soon enough though, you will get there!
So I take it you are interested to check out our big print we printed with the Tesla Aluminum Filament? The model we used for this was Ghost Rider from Malix3Design. We chose this model because the motorbike would look great printed in aluminum.
There wasn’t too much post processing on this model. The Tevo Tornado makes this 3D print look great with nearly perfect and smooth layer lines. You just need to give it a little sanding to get rid of some small lines.
With the Tesla Aluminum filament we did have to remove some stringing. This is no fault of the 3D printer or the filament, we had just neglected to fine tune our S3D profile.
While assembling this model, we used regular super glue to hold the parts in place. There are around 14 parts to put together and the assembly takes roughly 20-30 minutes to do. Only a small amount of wood filler was required because the layer lines and joints were excellent.
All Done and Painted
So you want to see this model all finished and painted?! Well, you will have to wait and see! Keep your eyes tuned for the finished model of Malix3Design’s Ghost Rider, all using Tesla Aluminum filament!
About the Paints We Used
The paint brands we will be using are Vallejo and Citadel. So what are Citadel paints you ask? They come in a lot of different formulations to help you achieve your end goal, which is hopefully a perfect paint job. Here is a list of the different types of Citadel Paint you can get:
Now On to the Colors!
Here is a small preview of what will be going on in this model. For most of the metallic parts of this model we will use Citadel Base: Leadbelcher for a base coat. We will then move on to Citadel Shade : Nuln Oil to help shade the low parts.
This paint is really thin and this allows it to flow into the low parts of a model to help make it shade in the darker areas. Most of Ghost Rider and his motorbike is black, so we will be using a base coat of Citadel Base: Abaddon Black.
We hope that you enjoyed this review. Once the print is done we will have a lot more information to share with you. We will treat the next installment as a tutorial on how to paint Ghost Rider, so stay tuned and have a look at our other articles. I am sure there is something here that might interest you!
Have you noticed any strange popping or sizzling while you were 3D printing? Don’t let wet filament ruin your day! Check out our article about converting a food dehydrator into a filament dryer to dry out your filament!