Anyone with a 3d Printer can create high-purity, high-detail metal objects using nearly any desktop 3d printer currently on the market.
Online PR News – 19-March-2015 – Madison, WI – “We believe we have attained the Holy Grail of 3d printing; Pure metal prints from existing desktop printing hardware. I have little doubt that this process will become mainstream very rapidly. It’s quick, it’s painless, and most importantly it leaves you with a 3d printed object made entirely of metal.” -- Bradley Woods, The Virtual Foundry
The Virtual Foundry has been hard at work developing items to add to our product line. As we've said many times, the first three products we are deploying are phase one for us. The Bootstrapping phase. This initial run of products ordered by kickstarter users, will put us on our way to releasing our growing library of 3d printing related products. Future releases will cover a wide variety of printing materials, tools and techniques.
One product that we've worked on since the beginning 3 years ago, is a 3d printable filament that behaves like Precious Metal Clay (PMC). In fact, at one point we even did some prototyping on a printer that would print with PMC. We decided that having dedicated hardware was not a viable option. Also, specialized clays would be required to keep performance consistent. We wanted a more open approach.
Along with being able to work Filamet cold and polishing it like metal, it also has properties that are very similar to Precious Metal Clays. You can create your 3d print the way you always do with Filamet, but you now have one more option for finishing it. After much testing and tweaking, we’ve gotten Filamet to behave almost the same as Precious Metal Clays. After prepping the print using our special process, you put it in a kiln to burn off the PLA and Sinter the copper powders. The result is an almost pure metal object printed on your desktop 3d printer. This technology is available to anyone, and is very simple to do.
There is some shrinkage and some porosity, but both of those issues can be managed. Each of these problems have been solved by the Powdered Metallurgy industry. We have learned a lot from them already, and believe that in the same way we will identify solutions to the shrinkage and porosity issues. For now though, this system produces a striking pure metal object suitable for a wide variety of application, not just art!
People have asked about thermal and electrical properties of Filamet. With this huge step forward we can now say that the performance of the processed Filamet is very close to that of pure copper. There are some differences, this is a sintered product, so it is not solid copper and therefore not identical. But it is so close that this won’t be an issue for most. We've developed techniques in the lab that let us print an item, using Filamet, that is both pure metal and solid metal. It is only a matter of time before these techniques are perfected and released to the general public. We believe that this will make Filamet a vital tool in Industry as well as Art.
If you would like more information, or have any question. Please give us a call at (608) 216-3574 (text is fine also), or visit the websites below.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, bardley)