Metal etching and printing transformed
Read on to find out more
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The days of using heat, high power lasers, heavy duty machines and dangerous chemicals to work with metal are over.
By harnessing the powers of electricity and saltwater and metal’s conductive properties we have created a platform that both etches and prints. In metal.
The principle is the same used to deposit metal by electrodeposition. Running a DC electric current through a solution containing some metal ions (e.g. Copper Sulphate in Water) the metal ions will get some electrons at the negative pole (will “reduce”) depositing on it a shiny coating.
How did we get here?
We started putting together a common 3D printer with a pump, Ikea glassware, nozzles and plastic pipes. We added water and common salts, mixed in some electronics, software and a lot of chemistry, physics and tests.
The result is our “jet based electrochemical 3D printer” capable of growing 3D metal structures on metal and plastic substrates according to a design file, removing excess metal where and when needed or drilling and cutting through solid metal.
And what can it do?
Check it out!
A jet hitting the cathode in a reverse assembly configuration tested to efficiently remove the electrolyte from the workpiece. Notice how there is no need for a support structure.
A “writing” test where copper is directly deposited on stainless steel for our company business card prototype.
One of the earliest structures deposited in the reverse jet configuration.
Everything is controlled by software and you can switch from one function to another with few commands to the electronics.
And there you have it! Metal etching and printing at room temperature!
We are soon to launch the PCB etcher in a limited quantity.
Following from that, in the future we will launch the metal 3D printer.
The FM3D PCB etcher
(Product to be revealed and launched very soon)
The FM3D Printer
(Product to be revealed and launched in 2020)
In the future:
Print Metal Structures in 3D
Print 3D metal structures at room temperature in a desktop machine
Operates with most metals – Copper, Nickel, Iron, Gold, Silver
Color pattern development through selective anodic oxidation
No hazardous waste generated
No dangerous or toxic chemicals
The Fluid Metal 3D printer is a desktop machine that builds metal structures at room temperature. It can combine different metals, alloys, and polymers. Dissolved metals from the employed solutions are completely recoverable.
When space colonies become a reality, we envision the FM3D printer being used to turn any metal object to anything needed.
Have any ideas on how to use our technology?