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Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?

Posted by GreenAtol 
Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 09, 2011 01:14PM
I was thinking of ways similar to arc welding, in which a wire is used. Or metal could be drizzled on the printed object as a liquid well above it's melting point.

Anyone heard of any metal depositing print heads of any sort?

Because the thing is this sort of thing could be followed with a milling step, like in ultrasonic consolidation, to produce finished metal parts in one go, which is of course one of the holy grails.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2011 01:15PM by GreenAtol.
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 09, 2011 03:13PM
An off the cuff answer, a metal deposition head would have to be made out of a metal with a greater melting point. I don't think it would take much to do but I would be very keen on having a metal printer too. If the finished product produced was a good quality then it would be worth doing.

P.s would just need a big printer then I could get down to printing myself a flash new car haha, they're looking at doing buildings so I think my car would not be to bad of an idea.
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 09, 2011 04:52PM
Why not use lead apart from the fumes it heats and flows well but unfortunately it stays soft when cool


__________________________________________________________________________
Experimenting in 3D in New Zealand
VDX
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 10, 2011 03:33AM
... the easiest way for printing with metals is powderbed laser-sintering - the now available high-power IR-diodes with 9 to 20 Watts are capable of melting the powder and the price for a 9W-diode ist falling below 300 Euros.

Another method is feeding a wire with contact to the surface and melt the tip, so it will leave single molten drops or (with feeding and melting along a path) comple tracks ... but here you need higher power than for powder, so the system will be more expensive ...


Viktor
--------
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Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 10, 2011 05:00AM
There have been some experimentations with low temperature melting alloys.

See for instance on RepRap Blog.
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 10, 2011 12:31PM
Hm, I have been looking into whether there are existing commercial processes that might be a good starting point.

Also, the idea of just drizzling or indeed applying as a low viscosity liquid in some way onto the existing metal might be workable. Need to know more about the welding processes. And what's going on there.

I am thinking mostly of making full strength metal objects, myself, but it looks like most people are interested in pcbs, in which case the metal has to bond to the substrate enough to not fall off but I guess if you had a suitable substrate....

For full strength metal parts though lead is useless, you need to be able to use your chosen alloy. Lead is quite toxic too and there are usually other things you can use like bismuth or solder alloys.

Here is some interesting stuff on commercial processes which I will add to the wiki later:
[ntrs.nasa.gov] (mostly about electron beam freefrom Several arc-welding processes, using either wire or powder feedstock or both, have also
entered the arena, including Plasma Transferred Arc Solid Free Form Fabrication (PTA SFFF) and Shaped
Metal Deposition (SMD) which uses either Metal Inert Gas (MIG) or Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding
techniques in a layer-additive fashion.[10)

Shaped metal deposition:
[www.rapolac.eu]
[www.amrc.co.uk]

pTA SFFF [www.freepatentsonline.com]
[www.dtic.mil]

[aries.ucsd.edu] mentions Laser or plasma arc forming and Spray Casting

[infohost.nmt.edu] robocasting, says metals and ceramics
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 10, 2011 12:41PM
Also, I'm thinking, like they do with ultrasonic consolidation, each layer of metal that is added could be followed with a milling step.

We already know how to do milling fine. So a metal deposition head that deposited full strength metal in full strength bonded layers does not have to be very precise. The resulting printer could print parts to the same precision as the mill. Which is quite high, enough to make all the mechanical parts of a car except for the rolling element bearings.

And we can already print in plastic. Simply combine an FDM head with the metal head and the mill and you can print in multiple materials quite precisely.

It would be good to have a support material though, however I suspect that most parts which are used in a car are made in such a way that they can be made without any supports although that may well be wrong.

The support material could be a substance that was highly heat resistant but soluble in a solvent, e.g. a salt. Perhaps a normal inkjet printer (piezo type) could propel droplets of the support material down, and then the solvent evaporates, leaving the salt in the desired place, more or less. Again, the support can be milled to a precise shape if desired.
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 11, 2011 03:37AM
I'm glad you finally got around writing shorter topics.
Nice work! thumbs up

The reason why people are either looking for a way to print circuits or metal parts is that in order to do both the process would have to encompass multiple materials at the same time. That is easier said than done so most just stick with one.
I like the ultasonic consolidation idea... I just had an inspiration that we could use "tracks" of metal material like a stripe of metal (cut aluminum cans!) welded on top of each other with ultrasonic welding. This would give us the possibility to combine plastic parts along with metal tracks. Track would have to be straight but the circuit could be embedded inside the printed plastic with "ports" of welded spot in order to make connections. A port would consist of a horizontal area where the stripes can be welded by the tip and ramps for areas which serve as connections.
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 12, 2011 10:58PM
I did post a link on a thread here about the recent use of a novel titanium alloy that can be blow moulded at plastic temps. Can I find the link? Can I heck!
The first thing I thought of was if it could be extruded?

Apart from metals I am now thinking along the lines of a printer that can put out carbon fibre or other high tensile filaments in thermoplastic. Maybe a frankenstien of a chopper gun as used in boat building and a 3d printer. Or the raw plastic pre made with a carbon fibre fill.
And then there is chemicals in > plastic out printing.
Re: Anyone heard of any metal deposition heads?
August 13, 2011 02:25AM
mostly about electron beam freefrom
http://reprap.org/wiki/MetalicaRap
http://forums.reprap.org/list.php?215
Which you found: smiling bouncing smiley


I am now thinking along the lines of a printer that can put out carbon fibre or other high tensile filaments in thermoplastic.
We do have this which puts down one fiber at a time:
http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?143,32944
http://reprap.org/wiki/SpoolHead
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