HacDC member Julia Longtin will give a talk at the upcoming 31st annual Chaos Computer Club Congress in Hamburg, Germany, Earth, Milky Way. She will lecture about a process she has been perfecting over the past year for 3D casting aluminum parts via the lost PLA method using repurposed consumer microwave ovens to liquify the metal.
We use microwaves to cast aluminum from 3D printed [PLA] objects. This gives us the ability to cast high quality 6040 aluminum pieces using a 3D printer and commercially available consumer microwaves.
We manufacture microwave safe kilns for melting aluminum. We create microwave transparent molds that allow us to burn out plastic without heating the mold itself there[by] creating a quicker method of accomplishing the lost PLA process.
Julia‘s process is being developed as a contribution to the larger FOSSCar initiative, which aims to use an open source production and development model and recycled materials including refurbished and repurposed off-the-shelf technology to fabricate a road-worthy car.
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 dev team for HacDC’s awesome, incubated Project Byzantium (PB) has ported their “ad-hoc mesh networking for the zombie apocalypse” platform to the Raspberry Pi. As the 1st milestone of their recent ISC grant award, they’ve started a parallel repository for ByzPi, their PB port for ARM, currently for Raspbian:
We opted to use Raspbian because it seems to be the more popular of the two [commonly installed Raspberry Pi Linux distributions]. Also, the packaging process for Debian was better understood than that for Arch Linux by the Project Byzantium team. We’re in a rapid development cycle so we wanted to hit the ground running and accomplish as much as possible in the available time before the first milestone.
Congratulations to The Doctor, Ben the Pyrate, and haxwithaxe!