Michigan Scientists Build Low-Cost Metal 3D Printer
More affordable mass market 3D printers are making their way into homes across the world creating a new wave of makers who are printing anything from jewellery to parts for robots.
Up until now, most of this printing has been done in plastic. But this month, news broke of a group of scientists out of Michigan University who have developed a low-cost 3D printer that prints with metal.
We have seen non-plastic 3D printers come to the market - those that print chocolate and metal clay are already out there for use. But metal has been one of those materials that has been hard to crack. Commercial metal printers are available, but they cost over half a million dollars.
Developed by Michigan Technological University’s Joshua Pearce and team, the printer used under $1500 worth of materials to create including a commercial MIG welder and an open-source microcontroller.
In the spirit of innovation and growth, the team have made their detailed plans, software and firmware are all freely available and open-source, meaning anyone can use them to make their own metal 3D printer.
If you have always wanted to print out a thermos, hammer or your own custom nails, click on the link and start making!
Photo credit: A new 3D metal printer in action in the Open Sustainability Lab at Michigan Tech. Chenlong Zhang photo