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Printer Open Source

Affordable 3D Metal Printer Developed Based on RepRap 199

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the reprap-to-take-over-world dept.
hypnosec writes "Researchers have developed and open-sourced a low-cost 3D metal printer capable of printing metal tools and objects that can be build for under £1,000. A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Joshua Pearce at the Michigan Technological University developed the firmware and the plans for the printer and have made it available freely. The open source 3D printer is definitely a huge leap forward as the starting price of commercial counterparts is around £300,000. Pearce claimed that their technology will not only allow smaller companies and start-ups to build inexpensive prototypes, but it will allow other scientists and researchers to build tools and objects required for their research without having to shell out thousands, and could be used to print parts for machines such as windmills." It's a modified RepRap; looks like we're getting closer to the RepRap being able to print all of its parts.
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Affordable 3D Metal Printer Developed Based on RepRap

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @05:14AM (#45648557)

    Its a MIG welder with a moving base plate. This means the resolution will be quite poor (like 4-5mm wide draw path) and you will need to print onto a metal plate/base and then cut it off after if required. Despite its limitations it is an interesting concept.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @05:16AM (#45648567)

    This isn't laser sintering. Its using a MIG welder like a plastic 3D printer uses filament.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <> on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @07:21AM (#45648983) Homepage Journal

    Interesting, but still not clear why the failure occurred.

    A very quick browse of available literature (VERY) suggests that laser sintering produces a very fine crystal structure, which suggests that the laser-sintered metal will have the same problem as other types of sintered metal. That fine crystal structure is inferior to a large grain structure. Parts will snap instead of bending when they do finally fail if sintered as compared to forged, or machined from forged billet.

    Still cool for prototyping, and lots of parts. I'd rather have laser-sintered parts in my gun than traditional powder metal. I'd rather have parts made from forged billet than either.

  • Re:3D printed guns. (Score:5, Informative)

    by felrom (2923513) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @08:40AM (#45649281)

    The demonization has been going on for a while. Here's an article from almost a year ago: []

    Steve Israel wants to ban your access to 3d printers, and he's using guns as a way to get the camel's nose under the tent. Here are some particularly telling quotes from the interview in the story linked above:

    What we’re trying to do is make it clear that if you choose to construct a weapon or weapon component using a 3D printer, and it’s homemade, you’ll be subject to penalties.

    Catch that? If you're a business, doing it for commercial gain, then he thinks it's okay. If you're the little guy, doing it as a hobby, then simply doing it even if no one ever gets hurt will get you sent to jail.

    Steve Israel: But if you’re going to download a blueprint for a plastic weapon that can be brought onto an airplane, there’s a penalty to be paid.

    Interviewer: Just for downloading it?

    Steve Israel: No, no, for actually manufacturing it. And we’re not even going after manufacturers, either, but lone wolves, individuals.

    Again there, if you're a business he's fine. If you're an individual, it's banned. He even slips and admits he want to criminalize the sharing of the information.

    So we’re talking to stakeholders, and working to create a distinction between that lone wolf and legitimate manufacturers of plastic clips.

    Make no mistake: the forces working to ban private ownership of 3d printers are already moving against you. The bogey man of undetectable guns is simply a convenient way to get people on board with the first step of restriction. Once that's in place another big-business congressman will come back and say, "Poor GM is losing money because it can't sell overpriced factory parts because people are just printing them. Ban all private 3d printer ownership!"

    The only thing in question is how many people will be fooled and take up the torch and pitchfork against 3d printed guns, not realizing that they're working against their own desire to have privately owned 3d printing technology. As is commonly the case, the fight for gun rights is only a microcosm in the larger fight for natural and civil rights. You want 3d printers? You're going to have to fight to protect 3d printed guns. You want marijuana legalized? You're going to have to fight for private ownership of machine guns. You want to continue to be free from poll taxes? You're going to have to support repealing the NFA.

    Issues of law and politics don't each exist in separate vacuums.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @09:25AM (#45649537)

    Guns have never protected freedom of speech. If you start to assemble a group of people with guns to revolt against the government you will be taken out without problem. There won't even be a public outcry about it because you would fit every definition of a domestic terrorist organization and the military will have a widespread support when they take you out.

    It is the other way around, the freedom of speech makes it possible for you to voice your opinion and gather the tens of thousands necessary to stand against the government. If you are armed or not is irrelevant if you have the strength in numbers.
    If gun ownership is legal or not is irrelevant since it is illegal to use them against your government regardless. If you intend to revolt then you might as well break the gun ownership law.

    Also, you shouldn't call others pussies. Your freedom of speech was taken away form you with the "free speech zones" and you never lifted your guns to protect that right. You are just a hypocrite that uses arguments you don't believe in as an excuse to keep your toys.

  • by mpoulton (689851) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @01:52PM (#45652429)

    12 cal? Yeah, your story checks out! /s

    For you edification, the firearm he is describing appears to be a very high-end double rifle, in "12 bore" size (0.739"). That is a dangerous game rifle, and may well cost over $100,000.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.