After printing a simple wall, simply by stacking bead upon bead of metal is an obvious start. Let’s face it though, it is not the most challenging of structures. To investigate the boundaries of the printer we have first printed an overhanging wall, basically a slanted wall, by offsetting the printerhead slightly per layer we managed to print a wall of similar quality to our vertical wall. The initiation and termination points of the welder were quite problematic resulting in a slightly tapered wall.
Our final challenge was to print a closed, hollow structure. A square based pyramid with a baby pyramid inside was printed. The first attempt failed due to the MIG welder feeding the wire too slowly resulting in discontinuities. A second pyramid (with baby pyramid inside) was printed, this time using the correct feed rate, with surprisingly good results. It can be seen that the same corner was used to start each layer, this corner therefore has some faults. By changing the corner per layer a better result would be obtained, this though would require some tinkering with the software.
– The Metalprinters