The Man Who's Making A Home 3-D Metal Printer

Plus other ways to get your ideas cast in steel, bronze, and bismuth alloy

Metal 3-D Printer
Steve Delaire's Metal 3-D Printer During a Movement TestPhoto from Molten3D

Sure, manufacturing companies have 3-D printers that are able to weld metal pieces. You can even send designs to Shapeways to get them printed in steel. But wouldn't you want your own metal 3-D printer at home? One California man is making it happen. DIY hobbyist Steve Delaire is working on making a home 3-D printer that lays down wire, layer by layer, and welds it together.

Delaire has shown his machine at a San Francisco Bay Area Maker Faire, where Slashdot talked with him and filmed his machine. Delaire posts his problems and progress on his blog. A few days ago, he wrote about why he wants a 3-D metal printer:

One of the motivators driving the creation of this project is to create an affordable welding robot that can be taught to weld better than me. A machine that is happy to weld hour upon hour and only asking to be fed in small quantities of electricity and production consumables.

For those looking for a short-term solution for making metal designs at home, Make magazine recently published a story about how to make plastic molds that are able to cast metal, using a conventional home 3-D printer.