Can this work for DIY 3d metal printing at home?

Using metallurgical powders with a precision depositing feeder, layout a layer at a time (obviously) of the part you want to develop within a certain size parameter.  Lower the layer into an induction heater coil to raise the temperature of the powder to just below the melting point then hit it with a low power laser to melt the powder together to make the part, again layer by layer.  Theoretically removing the need for high power lasers and either a vacuum chamber running constantly or a constant stream of shielding gas. 

You apply a vacuum or shielding gas only during the fusion cycle, hence the induction furnace. Removes the need for expensive vacuum chambers or heavy use of shielding.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
brokenhorse2 years ago
wheres everyone from?
I had the same Idea.
Im thinking about it being totally inclosed with backing gas argon.
taking a mig welder and using it like a plastic 3d printer with xyz and slowly weld it up
the thing is the filler metal would be really small allowing for less amps and more accurate product. the base that will be welded on has to be so it would either break away of not stick very well while still carrying a current. I have some idea on paper including multi metal printer in theory could print memory metals. need a garage though living in new jersey by new york in a apartment. I'm going to rent space in an old warehouse in paterson and start working on it I think. need allot more skills than just being a welder computer geek. Im pretty good at winging it though
RavensCraft3 years ago
The act of heating the powder , even if it
is below melting point, will cause it to oxidize.
Blacksmiths actually temper steel visually,
by observing the color of oxides that occur
on the steel as it is heated to different temperatures
that are way below the melting point.
malleolus (author)  RavensCraft3 years ago
Yes, I know. I'm a blacksmith :-)
Well then, that might be a good starting point for some
experiments. Since steel oxidation is visible during the tempering process, If you can find a way to heat steel and not
have it oxidize before you very eyes, then you will have
perhaps found what your looking for.

I know that they use AC for TIG welding because the
AC helps clean the oxidized aluminum as its being welded.
Maybe application of a certain AC frequency during the
metal printing process will help reduce/ eliminate oxidation.

Another thought I had was alchemy.
If one could just find a way to tun plastic
into metal... :-)
malleolus (author)  RavensCraft3 years ago
Lol, get your transmutation circle right on and you'll get it. Although technically you could put enough down to have an equivalent exchange... :)
Thank you.
I would use a tig welder and just build one weld on top of the next.

Try it what is the worst that can happen it don't work and you learn something.

If it does work great ether way make an Instructable someone here might be able to improve on your idea like adding robotics.
malleolus (author)  Josehf Murchison3 years ago
Very true, hadn't thought of that though it would be hard to maintain tolerances unless you could keep the voltage really really stable. But that can be done with a good welder hmmmm... I think that heavy post processing will be needed in that scenario still.

When I said try it I meant what you want to do.

The tig welder one works with rough work on parts you don’t mind machining and polishing, it is done on parts that need rebuilding like a backhoe bucket.
You have to melt to get fusion of the layers, I can't see how you can avoid oxidation.
malleolus (author)  steveastrouk3 years ago
Oxidation is the inclusion of oxygen into the base elements, i.e. FeO2, melting in a vacuum or shielding gas environment excludes oxygen purposely. All welding uses some form of shielding because including oxygen into the weld is detrimental to its integrity. You are thinking along the lines of an oxy-acetalyn torch where an oxidizing flame is required to cut through. This is not, actually, melting the metal; it is the rapid inclusion of oxygen into the steel to change the iron into iron oxide that cannot rebond to the metal and hence separates the two pieces in question. High quality steel is double processed, the second (or more) melts use a vacuum arc remelt furnace to remove oxygen, sulfur, and other inclusions to improve the quality of the metal.
I am fully aware what oxidation means, since I work routinely in high temperature materials research. And it will happen to hot metals.

You appear to be trying to heat in air, and then fuse in air. Any form of fusion, which has to take place at high temperatures, is an invitation to form oxides. Its what happens to many metals at high temperatures.

Aluminium, which would be a prime candidate for 3d printing is so reactive it will instantly oxidise to uselessness.
malleolus (author)  steveastrouk3 years ago
Lol oops. That's what happens when you ask at 0400. I meant to include that you hit it with a vacuum or shielding gas only during the heating process, removing the need for a constant vacuum or shield gas chamber. I apologize for that oversite.
My experience of shielding suggests that to get good results you have to get rid of 99.99% of the oxygen. Welding processes will STILL have oxygen in the weld, but its a big thing a weld, and the oxygen doesn't usually wreck the weld quality. A tiny amount of hot metal has a very low ratio between surface area and volume, and will be badly contaminated.

Sorry, I don't think this one will work.