Metal 3D printing isn’t really all that new. It’s been part of the 3D printing industry for several years now. However, most printers capable of using metal in their operations are limited to only a handful of options.
NVbots wants to change that, and the new printer they’re developing is supposed to be capable of printing with up to 21 types of metal.
The New Metal 3D Printer
3D metal printing isn’t new, but it has never really been simple, either. That’s largely due to the immense amount of heat needed to make it malleable enough for printing.
There are several printers on the market capable of generating those heat levels. Shapeways offers one, although it’s priced outside the reach of home printing fans.
The new printer from NVbots promises to be something very different.
“We’re breaking entirely new ground by bringing together a powerful combination of patented technology, with a level of 3D printing and metallurgy expertise unmatched in the industry,” said the company’s chief research officer, Paul Burke.
NVbots CEO, AJ Perez, added that, “We are solving the toughest problems in additional markets, such as the metal castings sector, which will have a significant impact on medical, automotive and aerospace industries, among others.” Perez pointed out that when complete, the new printer should be capable of creating metal parts at up to 10 times the speed of other machines on the market.
The secret to the printer’s performance is NVbots’ proprietary (and shrouded in secrecy) system. It allows the printer to use up to 21 different types of metals, and it can even combine those metals to create unique alloys for different needs, including enhanced durability, corrosion resistance, impermeability to microbes, and for other needs.
It will not be limited to printing with metal, either. According to the company, the new printer will also be able to provide high-precision welding, and use electricity to melt metal wire for other uses.
There are few other details available about the printer, other than that it is actually in the works, and that it will (hopefully) live up to the hype. NVbots did announce that they are accepting members for their alpha trial.
It’s a very exciting development, and while the printer won’t be geared for home use, it is most definitely a step in the right direction. As technology advances and becomes both more capable and more affordable, it’s really only a matter of time before home users can print their own metal components on a basic machine.