In this blog, we would like to document the design of an open 3D metal printer.
In the past years we have seen a lot of cheap 3D printers that print digital designs into various materials. Just think of projects like Fab@Home, RepRap, MakerBot and printrbot, to name a few. Most of them print parts using either ABS, PLA or PVA plastics. Other are more exotic, offering the user many choices of materials from silicone to chocolate icing (Mmm! Chocolate!) But what if one wants to print a part in metal? Right now, very few possibility are available for DIY metal printing. One can order from professional 3D printing services (usually not cheap) or can make a mold of their plastic prints and cast it (usually dangerous for the average user). That's the reason why we seek to develop an user friendly, relatively cheap and safe way to print metals.
What do we seek to do in this project?
Our goals can be divided in three objectives:
- Identifying a 3D metal printing technology that is simple enough for anyone to use, as low cost as possible and above all, relatively safe to use at home.
- Developing the basic process to allow for a good repeatable print
- Developing the tools (printer head and others) to allow everyone to do it.
Why an open project?
Simple: Share and you shall receive!... Many heads worth more than one! ...
We believe that by sharing our ideas with everyone, some will be able to help us in return, thus achieving our goals (Having fun creating things) faster.