Until today, the problem with 3D printing has been that it was too expensive for the mass market to 3D print metal objects, while a lot of important objects are made of metal. Rich scientific organizations like NASA seemed to be the only parties available of using very expensive 3D metal printers, while the rest kept on using printers such as the 3D plastic versions.
That’s why it’s good news for 3D printing that a new 3D metal printer is entering the market. The Michigan Technological University has presented an open-source 3D metal printer for only 1500 dollars. They have publicized their achievements in a scientific article, called “A Low-Cost, Open-Source Metal 3-D Printer“. What does this mean for the mass market? Well, it means anyone who has 1500 dollars could now buy a 3D metal printer. This makes a 3D metal printer even cheaper than a lot of it’s plastic counterparts.
However, it is still a basic model, which means users can’t perform complicated tricks on it. For instance, you can’t print complex geometric objects. The printer puts down layers of steel with its kit and it has a small commercial MIG welder as well as an open-source microcontroller. Professors are lyrical about this new printing innovation and if you want to read more about this subject, we definitely recommend you this interesting article about the new printer.
Here’s an interesting video about 3D metal printing: