After visiting the TCT show it's got me thinking about the different ways you can 3D print and what might be right for me. At the minute I'm being swayed towards a Silversmithing piece for my next project and I was left a little confused on how you would use 3D printing to create a larger piece. This is when I visited Concept Laser...
Concept Laser have 3D printers that print straight into metal and completely miss out the casting process! Which, if i wanted to print a complete silversmithing piece, this could be the route for me! There are no bubbles or holes like you can get from the casting process and the machine can print in precious metals! The printer works in layers which have a measurement of 20 microns which is almost one third of the size of a human hair. the machine starts with a layer of powder and a laser fuses the powder together to make a solid metal layer, then a new layer of powder is added on top and fussed to the last one and this process keeps repeating itself until the build is complete! the printer takes 15 hours to print 3000 layers (which is a build of about 6 cm high). there is barely any waste from this process as the powder that doesn't get fused is re used in the next build. But the best thing about this system is that the piece can even be polished once printed! what an amazing piece of technology! Just wow!