The MiniMetalMaker 3D printer.
The MiniMetalMaker 3D printer.

According to the team, consisting of David Hartkop, project creator and Ben Aiken, software engineer, the Mini Metal Maker prints 3D objects from digital files directly in precious metal clay, rather than in plastic. This material is a pre-mixed emulsion of metal particles in a water soluble organic binder.  When heated in a kiln (600°C-900°C) the binder burns away as the metal particles fuse together. Besides custom jewellery such as rings and gem settings and sculptures, the printer could potentially make specialized machine parts, ornamental hardware, metal chains, or even special hardware such as miniature turbines or pistons.

The Indiegogo project has already raised more than US$16,000, which the team plans to use to refine and package the technology into a producible product. It also wants to ork with industrial partners to tool up for production of the machine with injection moulding.

More information about the prorposed printer can be found here.