Metallic Clay Paste


#1

Below is a link to a Kickstarter campaign that requires a whole printer to do what Discov3ry apparently can do as an add-on. That’s the bad news for minimetalmaker and good news for Discov3ry.

It’s also terrific news for me. Apparently, as stated on the link, metallic clay can be made at a reasonable cost.

I’m more excited about metallic clay than any other material that’s been suggested. Electrical conductivity property kicks open a HUGE door for applications. Please spend some time thinking about that.

Is it feasible for Discov3ry; can you do it?

http://www.minimetalmaker.com/products


#2

Great find!

@fink and @Charles_Mire and I will need to look at the information we can find on http://www.minimetalmaker.com/technology, and in other places.

I can see that one difference is in the stepper motor he’s using: “Whereas common plastic printers have movement resolutions of 80-100 steps per mm, the Mini Metal Maker has 1600 steps per mm.”

I’m not sure of the number of steps per mm our motor has, but I assume it’s closer to a typical FDM printer motor.


#3

Steps per mm is about how many stepper motor steps push out one mm of paste, not 1mm of motion of the motor. So I’d think it’s a matter of gearing. The metal paste is probably quite thick, so you need a lot of steps to push 1mm of paste out of the extruder. This could be done by using a direct drive from the motor and a specialized motor that’s super-strong, or it could be done (much more cheaply) using a standard motor with 16:1 gearing, so each motor rotation moves the plunger 1/16th as far, and thus with 16x the force.


#4

Ahh, thanks for pointing out that oversight! Of course a motors travel would be measured in degrees, and of course our gearing will be set for maximum force over small distances of travel/extrusion.


#5

I just re-read the MMM tech specs, and they’re talking about all of the axis (XYZ and Extrude) using worm gears to move more slowly and with more force. I’m not sure why they want to do that on XYZ, since FDM printers all have very good XYZ positioning resolution already. Perhaps it takes a lot of horizontal force to extrude the metal paste?


#6

I’m not sure, but we’ve just ordered some silver clay, so we’ll be sure to share our experiences with it.