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  1. #1

    Need advice please

    Hi,

    I am keen to create bespoke cutlery (spoons, knives, forks etc) and would like to use steel/silver to do so. Does anyone know what the best printer is for the job and would be able to point me in the right direction?

    Regards

    Graham

  2. #2
    Technologist
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Waterloo, ON, Canada
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    Add truly_bent on Shapeways
    Here's a place to start. I suspect that type of printer is priced in the stratosphere.

    I haven't noticed of anyone on this board discussing metal printing recently, but i may just have missed it. I know Shapeways will print your STL files in various metals - steel and silver included. I believe i.materialise will also.

    Good hunting.

    (Edit: Spotted this laser sintering metal printer from Aurora Labs for around $4000. They pulled out of their Kickstarter campaign for reasons given on their FAQ page, but Still planning to ship April/May 2015. Could be a game changer)
    Last edited by truly_bent; 01-20-2015 at 06:57 AM.

  3. #3
    Ok thanks truly_bent I will certainly check that out!

  4. #4
    Technologist bford903's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
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    From what I've seen, metal printing just isn't there yet. The surface quality is atrocious and the metal is full of porosity. Aerospace companies are printing decent pieces but they also have astronomical budgets.



    This is mainly what I've seen coming from non-aerospace metal printers. Nasty. I'd wait on the metal printer for now.
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  5. #5
    Staff Engineer
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    Another option is to buy a SLA or DLP printer and use a burn-away (AKA clean-burn, aka investment casting) resin to make a metal casting. It's the preferred method for making printed metal jewelry, though it does require you to get your hands a bit dirty and use some traditional casting methods.

    Also, right now, burn-away photoresin is silly expensive (not as expensive as a metal SLS printer though.)

    By far the cheapest option though is to kludge together a heated paste extruder to an FFF printer to print with layers of hot wax, then use the printed part to make a lost-wax casting...

  6. #6
    3D printing is the best tool for making prototypes, but for massive production of spoons they will use a three-step injection-mold process. The rigid inner structure is made from colored Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) with a softer over-molded transparent TPE outer material. These materials are dishwasher safe, non-toxic and Phthalate (BPA & BPS) and PVC free.

  7. #7
    The easiest and most cost effective way to prototype jewelry would be to use the wax 3D prints as the prototype.

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