Proto-pasta Rustable Magnetic Iron Metal PLA Composite is actually ferromagnetic. It responds to magnets and behaves similarly to pure iron! Encapsulated in plastic, the iron maintains a stable matte, cast metal finish as printed, but can be rusted when desired. Here is why Proto-pasta Iron PLA is so interesting:
- Weighted feel with 1.5x the density of standard PLA
- Rustable to create modern artifacts in a few easy steps - instruction here
- Attracts magnets (neodymium type recommended for strongest attraction)
- Induction at magnetic saturation about 0.15 Tesla
- Relative (to air) Permeability - between 5 and 8 independent of frequency up to 1 MHz
- Permeability - between 62E-7 and 100E-7 H/m independent of frequency up to 1 MHz
- More thermally conductive than standard plastic
- Prints easily like PLA with less nozzle wear than Steel or Carbon Fiber
- More filament for your money - 2x the length of Bronzefill (500g Iron =1kg Bronzefill)
We recommend experimenting with creating a rusty patina like this:
What is it made out of?
MAGNETIC IRON PLA
Proto-pasta Magnetic Iron PLA is a compound of Natureworks 4043D PLA and finely ground iron powder. In filament form, it is rather brittle, and should be handled with care to avoid breakage.
Magnetic vs. Ferromagnetic
Iron is defined as “magnetic” but it is, more accurately speaking, ferromagnetic. That means it is attracted to magnetic fields. In short, magnets stick to it. So, you should note that magnets stick to prints made from Magnetic Iron PLA, but printed objects will not function as magnets.
We call our material “Magnetic Iron PLA” to communicate that this material allows users to include the added benefits of magnetism when designing and printing 3D objects.
Could I magnetize my finished prints?
We haven't tested this ourselves, but it makes sense that thin prints could be magnetized by rubbing them 10-100 times across the positive side of a large magnet. Ferromagnets will tend to stay magnetized to some extent after being subjected to an external magnetic field due to a fascinating process called hysteresis
Permanent magnetism requires the use a strong electromagnetic coil (around 2 Tesla), but that process would melt your print, so as awesome as it sounds, don't try it.
Is It Stronger?
No. The strength of Proto-pasta Magnetic Iron PLA is similar, and likely somewhat less, than the strength of standard PLA. The iron in the filament is too finely ground to provide an increase in overall strength.
Is it conductive?
No. The iron is too small and separated by the PLA to offer any noticeable amount of conductivity. You should try our Conductive PLA
Rusting Magnetic Iron Prints
To rust a print made with Magnetic PLA, lightly abrade the surface of your print with a wire brush to expose more iron particles to the air, then submerge the print in a salty solution for 2-3 days (or longer, if you're going for a very rusty look!).
Spool Amount: Density vs. Length
3D printer filament is sold in grams /kg, even in the case of exotic materials with greater density. Our Magnetic Iron PLA is quite dense compared to standard PLA. As a result, a 500 g spool of Magnetic Iron PLA contains about 100 meters of filament, vs. nearly 200 meters on a 500 g spool of standard PLA.
Proto-pasta Magnetic Iron PLA prints at similar temperatures as standard PLA, though we have found it seems to like it about 10 degrees cooler than what we usually print PLA at. Quick cooling seems to increase the tendency to warp, so you might try turning your fan off and slowing your printer down a bit. Experiment and see what work best with your machine.
1.8 g/cm3 (1800 kg/m3)
Bed Temp (if available, is not required): 50° C
Hot End Temp: 185– 195° C
If you are new to exotic filaments, the team at Proto-Pasta have some great tips for you.
All information provided courtesy of Proto-Pasta