Bronzefill Patina processing



Hi everyone, I just thought I would share with you this bronzeFill print. It’s my first attempt to age the material and I’m quite pleased with the result:

The design

The model is an underwaterhockey stick that I modelled, based on sticks I use. It’s not a hard print and only requires a little bit of support on the bottom of the handle. It has been printed quite a few times in a small scale to use on keychains and a full size one in XT-CF20. You can find it, with a puck, here on Thingiverse:

You’re seeing (from top to bottom) full-sized XT-CF20, mid-sized bronzeFill and brassFill and a small-sized woodFill.

The print

Printed in a 0.12mm layer-height with 100% infill, it’s about an hour to complete this 10cm print. It used 40 grams of 2.85 bronzeFill filament. Remember that bronzeFill is about 3x heavier than regular PLA, so it feels surprisingly heavy for its size. As I mentioned, a little bit of support is needed. As you can see this wasn’t a perfect print, flow wasn’t always optimal.

Post-processing – sanding & smoothing

Starting off with sanding and smoothing the model using various pieces of sanding paper and other tools. All the sanding I do is under water to avoid heat build-up and particles sticking to the sanding paper. After about an hour of work I gave it a coat of copper-polish (Brasso) to bring the shine out. Though later I read that this might actually protect the metal particles which will hinder creation of patina. I can’t tell one way or the other, but the final results don’t seem to show a big negative effect.

Post-processing – Patina

So far all of this was nothing new for me. Normally I would give the model a coat of clear paint to protect the shine, but for this project we’re not done yet!
Reading what other people have been trying, I started out with a mixture of salt and vinegar.
Using an old plastic container and two bits of string glued to the sides to keep the part off of the floor, I covered the model in the mixture and started the wait.

After 2 days, this was the result.

Interestingly, the sides (+bottom) that didn’t have any salt on it showed a lot more patina then the top. So this didn’t really seem the way to go, the salt actually looked like it was protecting the model a little. So I washed off most of it, but left a bit on there in order create a more diverse pattern.
At this point I also added ammonia to the mix (I had to go out and buy it, otherwise I would have started with it). The mixture was mostly salt and ammonia now, with just a little bit of vinegar left. This time I also left the container with the lid on outside in the sun.

The result

Another 5 days later the result was there! In the pictures below you can see the result while the salt was still on there. This is easily washed off with some water. The darker parts are where the model got wet, this seemed to slow down the process a bit.

So there you have it! This was actually easier and faster than I thought but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.




Sorry for the problems in the lay-out…

I wish 3Dhubs would allow you to modify (or just preview!) the talk posts, so I could fix it.

Hope you still enjoy though!


Hope it’s better now, Jos - let me know if you need any more changes. The possibility for you guys to edit your own threads and make changes is on the roadmap and will soon be available to everyone. Thanks for you patience and we’ll keep you posted :wink: Cheers


Very cool! Time to try some mixed media prints!! Have to post some eletroformed print at some point! Need to test out oxidizing copperfill and buffing back highlights.


Great print and finishing! Thanks for sharing!


Wow! Really good stuff.


Thanks for the help Gabriela, it’s a lot better already! :slight_smile:


That sounds like cool plans, be sure to keep us up to date on your findings :slight_smile:

Mixed material is also on my list, but it’s going to take some time before I can get around to that.


Awesome! looks like I’m printing something using bronzefill!


A little tip, I have found wire wool a far quicker alternative to buffing away with Braso!

Check out the “Scrumpty” picture on my hub for a Bronzefill patina that’s a bit different to this…


Thanks for the share!!! Great result!


Link? :slight_smile:


Hi Steven,

I’ve used steel wool / wire wool as well before (maybe even on this print a bit).

Mostly for prints that get a clear lacquer coating as I do find that it sometimes damages the plastic a bit (giving that white-ish look).

This is counteracted with a coating of lacquer, Brasso or just some fatty oil or something.


I know this is an AGES old post, but what clear lacquer do you use? I’m wanting to coat some parts of mine that I just tumbled in a rock tumbler with solid brass screws but I want to keep the look. And I also don’t know which lacquer would provide the best results.