So I'm having a fair bit of success with my Mendelmax so far. Still learning all kinds of things and continuing to get better results, but I still have a few bugs to work out. If you remember, there was a known issue with the z axis when my printer was sent out. The new parts are supposed to be here in the nest week or two, so we'll have some more post relating to that, but in the meantime, where do we go from here?!!?
I had a conversation with a few other guys about printing with metal. I jokingly mentioned that solder has a lower melting point than the plastic we use. Apparently, its already been tried with mixed results. Then I got to thinking... What if?
Obviously, the welder is just sitting there. I played around a little and was able to get a few semi decent ultra tiny beads out of the welder. No penetration whatsoever, but I think with some tinkering and some consistent feeds, I could get beads about 1mm wide and maybe .25mm tall. The trick then will be getting the printer software to think its melting plastic. I *think* I have a few ideas on how to make that work. Maybe a solenoid or two to activate the wire feed and welder. It would have to have a sacrificial base plate, but that could probably be cut off fairly easily after the fact if needed.
Am I crazy? Probably. Will I ever actually try this? Maybe. I'd REALLY like to, but you know how life goes... If you are interested in reading about another's attempts at printing metal, check this out:
And a cool video with metal printing:
In the meantime, a few shots of my latest prints.