I wonder if any of you saw this 3d printer before:
It prints using powder in a regular crucible, then you put the crucible in a furnace, some metal on top of it. The metal melts and then infuses the powder.
The process seem a bit more involved than regular 3D printing, but it is far easier than regular casting with virtually no shape limitation, so it sounds like a great solution to make complex metal parts at home!
Of course the parts need some post processing to give them a nice finish, but it doesn’t seem much worse than regular sand castings.
Moreover, it seems like the powders and stuff can be purchased for a relatively affordable price (I saw around 50 bucks per kilo).
Unfortunately the machine is not open source, but I don’t think it is really complicated to build one actually.
I was looking at building a metal 3D printer using SLS with powerful lasers, but the cost of the lasers was really prohibitive so I couldn’t really afford it… Here with this technique I don’t see anything being expensive at all !
So I guess after I finish my coreXY printer I will start working on this. Maybe I’m a bit too optimistic but I think there is nothing really impossible to do here for the homegamer, I need to think about a good way to precisely deposit the powders. I think there is no absolute need to use their slicer software, I might be wrong but I believe I could use a regular FDM slicer, in which case I’d just have to create the 3D model embedded in the support material and treat it as a multi material/multi colored one, one color for the model, one other for the support.
Any thought on this matter is very welcome, maybe that could be a fun group project, it could use all the great minds here and maybe we could come up with the holy grail everything is waiting for : a metal 3D printer for the price of a regular FDM printer!