A interesting article appeared this week describing a new approach to 3D printing being undertaken in Europe by Norwegian research institute Sintef. The process attempts to use powdered metals “based on the process principles of xerographic printers”. This additive process works very similar to that photocopier machine down the hall: by changing the electrostatic properties of the print surface, metal powder will (or will not) be attracted.
Ok, but how does it stick? That’s done by taking (presumably) each layer and applying heat and pressure to solidify the powder. Like some conventional 3D printers have done, MPP can swap media in mid-stream and thus print objects comprised of composite materials.
While the resulting objects are no doubt vastly stronger than items we’ve seen come out of conventional 3D printers, the question we’re wondering is, “how long will it take to print?”