Printing Steel. At Home!

There's an interesting discussion underway at the RepRap forums, where the idea of Direct Metal Laser Sintering is being pondered. DMLS involves laser-heating metal (or other material) powder, layer by layer, slowly building up a solid object. This is pretty similar to how many 3D printers work, but the interesting bit is that these guys are contemplating designing a system that could do this at home:

In other words, it's a laser cutter with a powder bed. This should be hackable by combining an off-the-shelf laser cutter with Fab@home or even CandyFab technology. From there it's all about finding the right settings.


It may be necessary to work under a nitrogen or carbon dioxide atmosphere, as steel powder is highly flammable under the right conditions

So it's not quite as easy as it sounds, but we may soon see a MakerBot-like device that prints wrenches and hammers. Where's our fire extinguisher again?

Via Open Manufacturing and RepRap Forums (Hat tip to Micah)

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!