Thermally Conductive Printing Filament - HELP!

We are experimenting with creating a low heat branding iron on our TAZ5/MINIs. The idea is to print a logo “brand” with a handle, then leave it in a hot water bath until it is needed, then “brand” the logo onto ice cubes. However, we have not been able to locate a filament that is thermally conductive enough to store and transfer this amount of thermal energy, which actually isn’t that much to melt ice considering the hot water bath. We tried a variant of copperfill and were very underwhelmed with the results, does anyone know of a filament that is thermally conductive? I was thinking about trying a variation of graphene but wanted to see what you guys thought, thanks!

You’re going to want to sit down and think this one through a bit more to understand why a highly thermally conductive filliament isn’t a great idea from a usable 3d printer standpoint. PLA is about the most thermally conductive fillament out there that is usable. Anything more thermally conductive than that is going to start deforming the fillament before it gets to the hobbed bolt, which would be BAD.

My reccommendation would be to print one in PLA, and then use a “Lost PLA” casting technique to cast one of what you are trying to do out of aluminum. The bonus side would be you could also use it to brand steaks and whatnot.

You need to look at the specific heat capacity numbers of all the materials involved and the (latent) heat of fusion of ice/water.
I think thermal conductivity is the least of your problems.

Hi Andrew

interesting Idea with some caveats as piercet and Andre already mentioned.

Thermal capacity and conductivity come into play here and as said before for 3D printing you want low thermal capacity and conductivity.
Those steel or copper filaments that can be polished… Do al of them actually contain metal particles? If so that might help to give you just enough heat transfer for your “branding”. Be careful: You have to stay with the Water bath temperature low enough that your model does not deform.

All the Best

MakerGeeks has a new high-temp PLA that may work for you. Here’s some of the specs:

FDA Approved for Food Contact
New High Temperature PLA Resin - no deformation up to 125c (250f)
Easy Annealable Process to increase Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT)
Tensile Strength @ over 6,000psi

You can learn more about it here:

I am part of a team out of Georgia Tech that has developed a new, thermally conductive filament that can be printed in most FDM processes. Are you still looking for this material?

Hey tcpoly, I hope you’re still active on this forum! I’m currently taking part in a research project that would require a 3D printing filament with high thermal conductivity. All of my research into thermally conductive plastics has only found those suitable for injection moulding. Could you provide me with some more details of your filament? Is there an easier way to contact you?


I am also very interested in experimenting with thermally conductive filament. Is any available?

Hello, sorry for the late response. We have begun beta testing of our filaments and have sample packs available for select customers. Please contact us through our website for more information. Thank you.

Graphene is an interesting thought. It is a very good thermal conductor (more). Maybe it would be interesting to experiment with different materials and then give them a graphene based coating.