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Metal printing via balls and rapid cooling

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
Metal printing via balls and rapid cooling
April 14, 2008 06:15PM
A simple idea on how to form a printing head for printing with any metal along with existing plastic printing heads. Instead of trying to deliver the material to the head in a liquid form, make the source form a solid - do the printing with tiny balls of metal. The printing head would only let one ball at a time, heat the ball to a desired temperature (higher if the base is another metal and lower if the base is a plastic), put the metal ball at its intended spot and rapidly cool it down. The technology to instantly heat tiny particles of metal and then instantly cool them is frequently used in soldering, I am sure it can be adapted.

The resolution of such printing would be directly proportionate to the size of the metal balls and to the speed with which such balls can be cooled to prevent copper wires burning the insulation when constructing a motor, for example.

If the design can be scaled down far enough we might get to laying down individual atoms grinning smiley
Re: Metal printing via balls and rapid cooling
April 16, 2008 01:06AM
controlling individual atoms isnt as easy as it seems they dont work in a pick and place principle exactly. anywho for a starters design you would need like lots of metal tiny metal rounds. that would be costing i think. better go with the more widely used welding/soldering methods and adapt them for reprap use i think. of course if you can get or fab these metal balls yourself why not try it out you never know when you might strike gold with your design, it might have some unexpected benefits
Re: Metal printing via balls and rapid cooling
April 16, 2008 02:00AM
... recent we discussed assembling objects with small 'bricks' or balls.

It's possible to pick small parts from a sort of magazine or feeding conveyr, place them in a glue-reservoir and then place in the target position, so you can build 'lego-like'.

Another idea with metallic parts (or balls) would be placing the part in the right place and then discharge through the part to weld it with the surface.

With small balls this could be a good surface accuracy too, but then you must have a very good supporting/feeding machinery for a perfect uniform and error-free handling and the fabbing-time is much longer then with paste ...

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