Industrial 3D-printer, working with metal, which can be printed or rocket engine gun
, there are tens of thousands of dollars. Available mere mortal printers costing up to $ 1,000 for the time being able to work only with plastic. American engineer and entrepreneur David Hartkop going to change that. His printer Mini Metal Maker
will cost only $ 750 as a set and details, and 1000 - in a completely ready for operation.
The printer uses to print Metal clay (metal clay) - a material invented in 1990 in Japan. Metal clay consists of minute metal particles mixed with an organic binder and water. From this clay can mold or stamp products from molds. After drying, the product is baked - organic binder burns out and the metal powder is sintered into a monolithic piece of metal. During firing, the product gives shrink from 8% to 30%.
Metal clay is used in jewelry and for making small sculptures. It can be found in online stores that sell art supplies. Metal clay can be prepared on the basis of the most widely used metals and alloys - copper, bronze, brass, iron, steel, gold, silver. Many varieties Metal clay can be baked a conventional gas burner, but a small muffle furnace can not hurt.
Prototype Mini Metal Maker has a resolution of 0, 5 mm. Hartkop promises to bring the resolution to 0, 2 mm in the production model. After firing, the products lose their characteristic 3D-printing layered structure and its mechanical properties do not differ from any other piece of metal - they can be bent, drilled, processed file. If you have collected enough funds in the printer will be the second print head for simultaneous printing of another kind of Metal clay or print the supporting members. When using clays with low shrinkage theoretically can be directly print working mechanisms assembly.
Workspace printer has a size 6h6h6 centimeters. Refilled printer can be any Metal clay or similar material consistency, however, may have to tinker with the selection of a suitable mixture of density. However, you can buy a ready-made mixture of suitable consistency is guaranteed.