Low-Cost Metal 3D Printing for $2K on Indiegogo
The Mini Metal Maker is a desktop 3D printer which extrudes a metallic clay to make “green” 3D objects that need to get fired up in a kiln to become fully solid, metal objects. 3DPI covered its release and first Indiegogo Campaign back in late 2013. Now, it’s time for the Mini Metal Maker to go into production and you can give its inventors, David and Lindsay Hartkop, a hand by supporting their new Indiegogo campaign.
The campaign has just begun and was first announced by the Hartkops on March 4th;however, in spite of the visibility it has received so far on 3D printing news sites, there is still a ways to go to reach the $150.000 funding goal. At the moment of writing, funds stand at $2.850, or 2% of goal. The 3D project is solid and 30 3D printers were already produced during the first production run. The price is also nothing short of revolutionary.
Jewelers and artisans stand to benefit from the Mini Metal Maker’s high detail capabilities and extremely reduced Indiegogo price of $2.100, which makes it by far the most affordable way to 3D print in metal. The price difference is even more evident when considering other direct to metal 3D printing by SLS or SLM processes.
The Mini Metal Maker works with a commonly available product used in jewelry which is made up of metal powder held together by a binding agent. When the finished product is heated to temperatures between 600° and 900° C (1550° F), the binding agent melts away as the metal particles get sintered together. It works with bronze, copper, and tin alloys and Mini Metal Maker is working with manufacturer Metal Adventures to produce more blends of metal clay, which are preloaded into 50g cartridges.
The highest extrusion (layer) resolution is 250 micron and the maximum print volume is 80 x 80 x 80 mm. The entire machine is only 46 cm tall and has a tiny footprint, which makes it an extremely portable, as well as incredibly affordable, way to approach direct metal 3D printing. In fact, it might be even cheaper than some of the objects it is capable of creating. Now, it only needs a little push to get to you.