Orbit1 lets you turn your ideas into gold. Literally.
Electroplating is a process that uses electric current to reduce dissolved metal cations so that they form a coherent metal coating on an electrode. While a number of 3D printers capable of making objects out of metal have already emerged, there has yet to be a Maker-friendly device that could coat an object in metal. Similar machines on the market today are often too bulky, messy and difficult to use — especially for the DIYers out there. That was until now.
Developed by California-based startup Monolith Studio, the Orbit1 isn’t exactly a 3D printer: instead, the machine enables everyone from tinkerers and engineers to jewelers and scientists to easily and affordably turn plain ABS prints into glossy, ready-to-shine works. After first making its debut at last year’s World Maker Faire in New York, the electroplater has finally made its way onto Kickstarter.
Using Orbit1, a Maker has the ability to coat their work in metal — like copper, nickel, lead and gold — in just three simple steps. First, by cleaning and polishing the object, then by spraying it with conductive paint and finally by hitting the start button. From there, Orbit1 will metallize the design, making it super simple to transform any 3D-printed thing into a valuable metal piece of art, jewelry, toys, instruments or even conductive part for electronic gadgets. Meanwhile, an accompanying mobile app monitors the coating process and serves as a real-time reminder.
Aside from providing users with an efficient and straightforward way to refine their projects, jobs can be finished in less than two hours for just $2/gram. Though Orbit1 features a maximum plating size of 7.8” x 5.8”, advanced users even have the option of adjusting all of the device’s parameters manually via the mobile app’s “expert mode.” What’s more, its propietary conductive spray is applicable to just about any surface.
“Orbit1 is as beautiful as it is functional. Right on your tabletop, Orbit1 scans the object and configures automatically. Click start and let it work for you,” its creators write.
At the moment, only copper and nickel are available for the Orbit1; however, should the team achieve its pledge goal, they will also launch gold, silver and other metallic finishes. Intrigued? Head over to its official Kickstarter page, where Monolith Studio is currently seeking $200,000. Shipment is expected to begin in August 2016.