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Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, making it a top choice for electronic devices and heat exchangers. The copper used for this 3D printing process is 99.9% pure, ensuring it maintains optimal material properties.

3D Printing Process

  • Bound Metal Deposition (BMD)
Common Applications
  • Consumer and Industrial electronics

  • Heat Exchangers

  • Inductor Coils

  • Resistance Welding tools

  • Electrical Motor and Generator components

3D printed copper 100% pure

About 3D Printed Copper

Copper is an excellent choice for applications requiring thermal and electrical conductivity. This 3D printed copper has an IACS value of 85.2%. IACS is the International Annealed Copper Standard, which measures the conductivity of a specific copper compared to annealed wrought copper. Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) is used to manufacture this material, allowing for speed of manufacturing and complexity of design not possible with traditional manufacturing methods such as CNC machining or molds.

Copper 3D printed with DMLS additive manufacturing (magnified) - courtesy of Desktop Metal

100 µm magnification

Bound Metal Deposition 3D Printing Process

Bound Metal Deposition extrudes metal rods into complex shapes layer-by-layer. Once printed, parts are sintered in a furnace for final densification and removal of binder. This process achieves 98% density, similar to cast parts. Layer lines are typically visible and part surfaces are similar to cast part surfaces. This printing process can have closed-cell infill for lightweight strength.

Best for for all-purpose use, including:

  • prototypes and end-use parts

  • form-, fit- and function- testing

BMD Metal 3D printing Process (Courtesy of Desktop Metal).png


Balace performance and affordability with your choice of Standard or High resolution 3D printing for Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) 3D printed metals.

Standard Resolution

Ideal for all-purpose use, including:

  • prototypes and end-use parts

  • form-, fit- and function- testing

  • strength and density similar to cast metal

  • industry-standard quality requirements

High Resolution

Ideal for specialty production, including:

  • complex metal parts

  • parts designed for demanding environments

  • series production

  • higher strength and density than cast metal

Finishing Options

Bead Blasting

Parts are blasted with fine glass bead to smooth surfaces and give a matte appearance. Recommended for consumer-facing parts.


All parts are cleaned and ready for use when shipped. There may be layer lines and residual marks from support structures.

Technical Specifications

Composition %
Mechanical Properties
As-Sintered (Actual)
As-Sintered (Per MIM-MPIF standard 35)
Ultimate Tensile Strength
Yield Strength (MPa)
Elongation (%)
Density (g/cc)
8.5 (min)
Electrical Conductivity
As-Sintered (actual)
As-Sintered (per MIM-MPIF Standard 35)
Electrical Conductivity
ASTM E1004
85.2 %IACS
Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 20 - 38 ºC
17.01 *10-6 /ºC
15.7 *10-6 /ºC
Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 20 - 66 ºC
17.15 *10-6 /ºC
16 *10-6 /ºC
Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 20 - 93 ºC
17.22 *10-6 /ºC
16.4 *10-6 /ºC
Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 20 - 121 ºC
17.33 *10-6 /ºC
16.7 *10-6 /ºC
Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 20 - 149 ºC
17.43 *10-6 /ºC
16.9 *10-6 /ºC

Design Guidelines​

Maximum part size

Standard Resolution       High Resolution


X    240 mm 9.4 in            X    60 mm 2.4 in

Y    240 mm 9.4 in            Y    60 mm 2.4 in

Z    240 mm 9.4 in            Z    60 mm 2.4 in

To optimize for fabrication success, the recommended maximum part size is 150 x 150 x 110 mm (6.0 x 6.0 x 4.3 in).

Minimum part size
Minimum part size_edited.jpg

Standard Resolution       High Resolution


X    6mm  0.24in                 X    3mm 0.14in

Y    6mm  0.24in                 Y    3mm 0.14in

Z    6mm  0.24in                 Z    3mm 0.14in

The minimum part size considers the minimum number of bottom layers, top layers, and toolpaths within a wall required to produce a successful part.

Minimum wall thickness
Minimum wall thickness.png

Standard Resolution       High Resolution


1.0 mm                                 0.6 mm

The minimum wall thickness considers structural integrity during sintering. Wall thickness must be at least two toolpaths wide, or approximately 1mm. When printing a wall greater than 8mm tall, the ratio of height to width must not exceed 8:1.

Minimum pin diameter
Minimum pin diameter_edited.jpg

Standard Resolution       High Resolution


3.0mm 0.12in                     1.5mm 0.06in

Pins should obey the aspect ratio guideline of 8:1.

Minimum embossed feature
Minimum embossed feature.png

Standard Resolution          High Resolution


X/Y   W 0.45mm 0.018in        W 0.30mm 0.012in

         H 0.50mm 0.020in         H 0.30mm 0.012in


Z       W 0.25mm 0.010in         W 0.15mm 0.006in

         H 0.50mm 0.020in          H 0.30mm 0.012in 

Embossed features are proud of the surface of the model. If an embossed feature is too thin, it likely will not print.

Minimum debossed feature
Minimum debossed feature.png

Standard Resolution          High Resolution


X/Y   W 0.45mm 0.018in        W 0.30mm 0.012in

         H 0.50mm 0.020in         H 0.30mm 0.012in


Z       W 0.25mm 0.010in         W 0.15mm 0.006in

         H 0.50mm 0.020in          H 0.30mm 0.012in 

Debossed features are typically used for surface detailing and text on the surface of the model. If a debossed feature is too thin, it risks over-extrusions that fill in the engraved feature.

Minimum unsupported overhang angle
Minimum unsupported overhang angle.png

Standard Resolution       High Resolution


40 degrees                           40 degrees

Overhangs greater than 40° from planar will require supports.

Minimum clearance
Minimum clearance_edited.jpg

Standard Resolution       High Resolution


0.3mm 0.0012in                 0.3mm 0.0012in

The additive nature of 3D printing enables the fabrication of multiple parts as printed in-place assemblies with moving or embedded parts. Interlocking components should have 0.300mm (0.011in) of clearance.

Aspect ratio
Aspect ratio.png

Standard Resolution       High Resolution


8:1                                         8:1

Unsupported tall, thin features are challenging for debinding and sintering processes and should be limited when possible. The ratio of height to width for tall walls or pillars should not exceed 8:1. Tall cylinders and walls are the least stable geometries.

Use Case Examples

An electrode holder is equipment that holds an electrode in a position that is secure and safe during welding. The clamp supports the electrode, and also guarantees a good electrical contact for current passage. 

Electrodes weare out quickly in the manufacturing process, which means it is important to be able to replace them quickly and affordably to avoid delays in the manufacturing process. 

The part displayed has integrated conformal cooling channels, which help cool the part down more quickly in order to produce a better weld. This cooling channel design can only be created with 3D printing.

3D printed copper - Egar Electrode Holder - courtesy of Desktop Metal_edited.png
Motor Heat Sink

This heat exchanger is designed to dissapate heat from an electric motor. With 3D printing, you can scan the shape of the motor and use the digital template to design a heat exchanger that fits the motor perfectly, to achieve better heat transfer. The tall, thin fins can also be easily manufactured with 3D printing without the risk of warping the soft copper material in the machining or moulding process.

3D printed copper - Motor Heat Sink - co
Helical Heat Exchanger

This heat exchanger is used to cool hot gasses as they flow thotugh a pipe. This specific design features an internal helical channel, which can only be manufactured with additive manufacturing (3D printing). This heat exchanger, combined with external fins shown above, provide a higher heat transfer rate than the traditional heat exchanger design they replaced.

3D printed copper - Heat Exchanger - courtesy of Desktop Metal.png

A busbar is a metallic bar in a switchgear panel used to carry electrical power from incoming feeders and distributes the power to outgoing feeders. The resistance of the material generates heat when carrying an electrical load, so this bus bar has complex internal cooling channels which are designed to dissipate heat more effectively. Traditional manufacturing would require the part to be designed in multiple pieces and assembled into a final part. 3D printing this part as a single unit saves time and labor cost, and provides fore efficient heat transfer.

3D printed copper - Bus Bar - courtesy of Desktop Metal.png

Get your parts into production today

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