ETH Zurich is making quite the name for itself in 3D printing. From Concrete Canoes to printing human cartilage, they are certainly on a roll. While these are more recent headlines, today we’re harkening back to one of their earlier achievements: FluidFM. Along with company Cytosurge, ETH have produced a new FluidFM printer with a stunning level of layer resolution. ETH and Cytosurge are looking to make this 3D printer far more home-friendly.
Aside from the quality of prints this FluidFM systems also allow access to a wide range of materials, including metals. They can build odd shapes without support due to the use of metal ion liquids. This makes FluidFM one of the few direct metal printing systems for home use. Whereas most systems are using metal powders coated in some other material meant to be sintered off or melted, this one builds up metallic structures from the get-go.
The system consists of many different parts: the 3D printer itself, plus a FluidFM µ3D Printer Controller, FluidFM Operator Software, FluidFM Microfluidics Control System, and FluidFM Ion Control Unit. The company has not publicly announced the price as of yet.
How Does FluidFM work?
FluidDM stands for Fluid Force Microscopy. It was developed by post-doctoral student Luca Hirst. The technology has multiple applications in biophysics, life sciences, and metal 3D printing. ETH and Cryptosurge have built on the old system and added the ability to build metals directly from the aqueous solutions.
FluidDM involves the ionisation of liquids into solid constructs. The machine applies an electric charge to the fluids that pass through the tip. It continues this process layer by layer. The process has some notable advantages such as not requiring supports and directly printing metal.
|Print Volume||7.87 x 7.87 x 7.87 in (200 x 200 x 200 mm)|
|Printing Area||100 x 70 mm|
|Print Resolution||Less than 1 µm|