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I have a XYZPrinting Da Vinci Mini W+ that I got for last Christmas. I am looking at the filaments available for it, since the included PLA is running 'low' (according to it) at 21 metres remaining. The one filament type that interested me the most is the Premium Metallic PLA. My question, that the website doesn't seem to answer, is how conductive is this material? Does it have any conductivity that would make it realistic to use to carry a current from something like an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, or is it too insulated, meant to only look metal, to act as a conductor?

Why I ask (Background - Not as Important) I ask this, because of an idea I had. Printing a pretty low quality PCB type circuit. Instead of being forced to keep my circuits on breadboards with wires jumping from here and there, I would take a conductive layer and sandwich is between to insulating layers. If I wanted two trace layers, I'd do the following pattern (with I being insulating and C conductive) "ICICI". Since I only can print in one filament type at a time, I'd print each layer in the thinnest thickness (1 micron, I believe), and have to fuse them together. I could do this in a few ways, using glue of some sort, or a hand-help filament pen to fuse the layers from the outside (the conductive layers would be slightly smaller, of course).

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Most PLAs are non-conductive: they contain little to no metal in comparison to plastic and can't make a conductive path. Even metallic PLA does not contain enough metal to be conductive.

There are some rare filaments that are conductive, they are sold as conductive PLA. I have yet to encounter a non-black conductive PLA.

One filament I suspect to be possibly conductive but have no hard evidence is made by The Vitual Foundry and contains about 80% metal. It is intended to be treated in the oven to burn out the plastic part, leaving behind a somewhat pure metal structure, but might be conductive without this process already. I have no experience with this and all my exposure to it was this answer. It should be highly abrasive though.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah. That's too bad. Thanks for the answer then. I wasn't sure, because I'm relatively new to this. I knew PLAs themselves weren't conductive, but then I saw it said "copper" as the material, and I thought to myself "Hey, isn't copper the thing that is used as wires?" and just wanted to check. They don't actually list any conductivity information (which is kinda dumb IMHO, since some applications actually need that info). Again, thanks anyways. $\endgroup$ Oct 12 '19 at 1:10

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