Affordable DIY Metal 3d Printing
Meta 3D printing is going viral nowadays, if you can able to 3d print in metals then why are you still fed up with printing the same plastics? But unluckily most of the metal 3d printers are more costly than the average consumer level plastic 3d printer. Metal 3D printers are currently used by the industrial companies like GE and Boeing. No problem if you have a desktop 3d printer in your home you can able to configure your existing machine to support metal 3d printing. Cosmo Wenman who is 3d printing expert released the comprehensive instructions and a video tutorial on how to metal 3d printing using your own desktop 3d printer.
Many 3d printer users have tried to print ABS plastic molds using their desktop 3d printers. Those molds are used to casting metal, but unfortunately most metals’ melting point is very high. If a metal’s melting point is equal or more than the melting point of ABS plastic then the mold will simply melt once the molten metal cast was poured in to it. Cosmo did some tests and he found that certain alloys of bismuth have the melting points as 70°C. After he poured the liquid bismuth metal alloy in to 3d printed ABS plastic mold, you don’t believe it that he got the 3d printed metal with finer finish.
The following step by step instructions are given by Wenman,
- 3D Design any parts you would like to print (you can use any CAD programs such as Autocad, tinkercad, sketchup etc).
- Do subtraction of that model from solid block, it will eventually forms the mold.
- 3D Print using ABS filament.
- Melt bismuth alloy and pour it in to the molded part from ABS.
- Put the entire mold and cast in to a hollow jar filled with acetone after you cooled the alloy abs mold combo.
- ABS is dissolved gradually by acetone and it reveals you the 3d printed metal.
Before doing the Wenman’s method you need to ensure some safety issues. There may be some issues with bismuth alloys and acetone solution, please read Wenman’s complete instructions on thingiverse before you use.
Metal 3D printers may be belonged to rich buyers but Wenman's method gives us the opportunity to try the DIY metal casting and 3d printing at home without much expenses. Lets beleive that within few years, most advanced R&D researches will come to bring down the cost of metal 3d printing. Please check Wenman’s method in following youtube video tutorial.