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Michigan Scientists Develop Low-Cost 3D Metal Printer

Posted on: 01/13/2014
Scientists at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) have developed a low-cost 3D printer that can create metal objects, opening up the potential for creating inexpensive tools, gears, and other components in the home or laboratory—much like plastic 3D printers have made it easy to create simple objects outside the typical manufacturing process.

Using less than $1,500 worth of materials, the scientists built a 3D metal printer than can deposit thin layers of steel to form complex geometric objects. The printer components include a small commercial MIG welder and an open-source microcontroller. The detailed plans, software, and firmware are freely available and open-source.

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