Protopasta has released an interesting entry into the filament spectrum – magnetic iron filament.
There are some complaints about 4d printing filaments being a bit dull and not able to carry a sheen that more accurately simulates metal.
I chalk this mostly up to the paradox of many 3d printing enthusiasts not being more experience model builders and knowing more of the classic techniques to simulating metal.
But this material category actually does something movie magicians rarely or never accomplished with their tricks – giving magentic properties to plastic.
While this might not seem very interesting, think of it this way. How many object in your home have slime magnets embedded in them in order to make them function? Small cases, gadget slip cases, cabinets, drawers, even toys and recently some wearable tech have been including magnetic features.
So a material like Magnetic iron PLA fits into an industrial designers vocabulary very well indeed.
But for me the most interesting attribute is definitely its ability to weather like metal – rust. If you have ever seen Corten steel you know that one of its most interesting properties is that it is INTENTIONALLY formulated to rust. That layer of rust becomes a protective layer from additional weathering and although this feature was intended to have industrial applications, artists thought it had incredible aesthetic properties.
I love the look as well, and I am using one of my more recent sculpts to test the material for later MUCH larger projects.
I will eventually try some new cold casting methods which use similar concepts, but for the time being you can get this material from the folks at Protopasta right here: