A father and son team in the START-UP NY program have invented a liquid metal printing machine that could represent a significant transformation in manufacturing.
A breakthrough idea five years ago by former University at Buffalo student Zack Vader, then 19, has created a machine that prints three-dimensional objects using liquid metal. The machine is so novel it represents a quantum leap in the ability to print three-dimensional objects in metal. Other metal printers exist, but most use a process of laying down powered metal and melting it with a laser or electron beam. In that process, some particles of the powder do not get melted, creating weakened spots.
Manufacturers are very interested in the Vader machine, with one automotive parts maker expressing an interest in eventually buying at least 50 of them.