Mini Metal Maker is an affordable metal clay 3D printer


This machine will let you print your own jewelry, ornaments and clips. 


Have you ever wanted to design your own custom jewelry, metal findings, sculptures, specialized machine parts and ornamental hardware? Well, you’re in luck. Thanks to David and Lindsay Hartkop’s latest Indiegogo project, we may be closer to a world of affordable, in-home metal 3D printing. The aptly-dubbed Mini Metal Maker is a self-contained device that is hoping to provide Makers, artisans and artists alike with the ability to inexpensively print items using a special blend of clay materials from manufacturer Metal Adventures.

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The incredibly sleek, compact printer functions in a similar fashion as to countless other Cartesian-based FDM machines available today. However, the key difference is that the Mini Metal Maker constructs 3D objects from digital files directly in metal clay, rather than in thermoplastic. Its sturdy steel and aluminum frame is packed with an all-electromechanical extruder and provides over 300 PSI. Beyond that, the desktop gadget can automatically sense extrude nozzle height, thereby making nozzle changes easier than ever before, and is digitally-controlled enabling quick starts and stops.

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The machine itself is based on an Arduino Due (SAM3X8E) running modified Sprinter-based open source firmware. The Mini Metal Maker can also be used with open-source host and slicing software such as Printrun and Slicer, and according to its Indiegogo campaign, the Hartkop’s are in the midst of developing a cross-platform work environment for loading objects into the printer. Its compact size — measuring in at 9” x 12” x 18” —  allows for the device to rest on any desktop or counter without taking up too much space.

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What’s nice is that the machine is equipped with a removal magnetic bath, which will help prevent clay from dying inside the nozzle. In addition, it prints on removable magnetic vinyl sheet, which the metal clay clings to when wet and automatically releases when dry. This makes the process as easy as printing the object, trading the plate and beginning a new print.

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Upon being printer, designers can work on and clean up their creation before firing it up in the kiln. Once heated up to 1550˚F(600˚C-900˚C), the clay piece becomes an entirely metal object that can be bent, filed, polished, drilled and even soldered.

  • Printer size: 9” x 12” x 18’” (23cm x 30cm x 46cm)
  • Build envelope: 8cm x 8cm x 8cm
  • Printer weight: 10lbs
  • Extrusion resolution: 250 microns
  • XY resolution: 10 microns
  • Z resolution: 2 microns
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Filament: Metal Clay

The Mini Metal Maker is the perfect tool for any jewelry artisan, artist or Maker. Whether you’re interested in devising some custom jewelry, ornaments, or even some gears and clips, you may want to hurry over to its official Indiegogo page. The duo is currently seeking $150,000 with shipment expected to begin in October 2015.

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