Metal printing quality: copper vs aluminum vs titanium

Hello to all

We have ordered some parts in aluminum, titanium and copper.
The copper part resolution was ten steps above Al and TI prints, and Cu part had polished finishing, and mirror smooth surface.

The AL and TI were very coarse finishes with visible powder sized surface chunks.(though better print quality than other companies)

Can anyone advice if we can have the AL and TI printed in same quality as Cu, and can anyone from i.meterialize explain why the incredible difference in quality of the finish in favor of the CU?



Copper parts have smoother surface because they were printed with a different technology and they were also polished by hand. We use Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to print aluminum and titanium parts, and Lost Wax Printing & Casting to print copper parts. The difference between technologies is significant. You can find more information about each technology following the links below.


Lost Wax Printing & Casting:

Also, some geometries may be better suited for one technology than for the other. You can find our design recommendations in our guides for each material.

I realized it was different tech as the copper part have excellent finish.

Can you cast alum and Ti with same lost was method?


Dear Stavros,

We can print aluminum and titanium models with DMLS. If you would like your model to be cast, you can order it in brass, bronze, copper, silver or gold.

Clear, thank you.

Is there an option for higher resolution printing for AL or TI?

The finish quality on meshed parts is not as good.

Dear Stavros,

Most likely, layer thickness is not related to the smoothness of surface in this case. Please consider different technology for your project.

Also, you can polish your aluminum or titanium models manually by using a rotary tool like a Dremel.