HacDC community member Julia Longtin and collaborator, Mason Mooney, have been developing a fascinating method to 3D print aluminum via a lost PLA method. It is remarkable for its use of commonly available consumer products such as microwave ovens, sugar, and hair spray. They have posted it to Hackaday and we are sure you'd agree that it deserves as many up votes as possible! Please spread the word if you agree!
“Our system uses consumer microwave units to perform burn-out of PLA from molds, and a second microwave to liquify aluminium, to be poured into the mold. 3d printer inspired mechanics will move the aluminium from the microwave, into the target mold under human control across the network, so that there is no risk to the person operating the machine.
“Lost PLA is usually dangerous, and time consuming. with this, we can go from [PLA] printed part to cast aluminium part in 3 hours!”
UPDATE (8/20/14): Julia et al. made the front of Hackaday!
“The Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library will host a
Mini Maker Un-faire DIY (Do It Yourself) Fair in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Library is accessible from the Gallery Place and Metro Center subway stops.” More…
HacDC will be among the participating organizations at this event.
Admission is free. Register at http://dcdiyfair2012.eventbrite.com/
Slowly but surely, the Prusa Mendel is forming. After a misguided attempt at using imperial washers where metric was called for, this past Monday we completed the static frame. Next, we’ll cut plates for the print platform and assemble the axes. As always, if you want to be involved, come hang out at Microcontroller Mondays, and for the behind-the-scenes scoop, head over to the wiki page.
This Monday we began the first stages of a project to build a Prusa Mendel. The Prusa Mendel is a species of RepRap, a DIY 3D printer that can print parts to make a copy of itself, in addition to any other plastic widget you can dream up. We’re still gathering materials, but if you drop by Microcontroller Mondays over the next couple months you should be able to see the build in action, and maybe help out! To follow along, stay tuned here, or for the messy reality, check out the wiki page.