Nov 15, 2013

Chipfuzer DIY 3D metal printer by Mark Miller

Chipfuzer is a project by Mark Miller which uses metal chips / shavings / chips left after sawing metal plates and welds them together. It is basically computer controlled welder that welds 3d metal objects.

Video of the early Chipfuzer version

Chipfuzer DIY metal 3d printer

Chipfuzer print chamber

Some metal particles 3d objects printed / welded by Chipfuzer

Chipfuzer DIY metal 3d printer with electronics

More advanced DIY 3d printed metal part

Printed metal part mounted on functional part (linear actuator probably)

Mark writes this about his machine:

"The printed parts are metal. I am using high voltage and electrostatic depositing.....sorta.. in a bizarre looking chamber with a rotating building pedestal, a hopper with a tube of fine metal particles(from my bandsaw), and did I mention high voltage? Lots of snapping, popping, and sort of a welding sound....but its fast. The shapes are pretty simplistic to start off, and as can be seen grainy finish, but much to my surprise stable enough to sand and machine a bit.
In the very early stages, will report more later....."

I asked him about this machine and he wrote me this:

Right now still a work in progress but getting better every day. I am now designing safety features in it as it uses rather high voltage. I have been making electrode redesigns, HV power supply filtering(to eliminate RFI) and hoping to scrounge up some more electronics to make a second machine. The last few days I have been designing a 3D scanner that will scan parts to be made on/for this machine.
When the machine is ready for primetime, I have every intention of open sourcing it.

More detailed technical information about it are unavailable at the moment.
I'll keep my eye on this cool project and I hope it grows. Metal 3d printing would be great step forward for DIY community.

Mark Miller Google+ profile with more information on Chipfuzer:

Update (5.2.2014):

Here is a new MIG welder based open source metal 3d printer:

Here is the Chipfuzer V 2.0 - smaller and better: