First we could print on paper, next came 3D-printed plastics, then food, a flute, and even a car! What's next, titanium parts? Oh wait--it's already here. The company i.materialise now has their own million-dollar titanium 3D printer and you get to use it. Well...sort of.
i.materialise prints 3D parts for anyone who can pay. The company has a selection of parts that you can pick from, including this awesome tesseract. Alternately, you can upload your own design and they will print it for you. The titanium parts are made by a process called Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Basically some titanium powder is laid down, a laser melts it binding the powder together, and then another layer of titanium powder is laid on top of that. This process is repeated until you have your masterpiece. The printed part usually needs a little cleanup afterwards.
The company offers a couple different titanium parts including the HeartGrid, a titanium pendant; OurPlace, a map of the United States with a heart located where you met your mate (or drinking buddy); and of course the famous titanium ball. A titanium ball with a 2-centimeter diameter will cost you somewhere around US$124--that's not exactly cost-effective for something that's going to sit on a windowsill, but it does look pretty awesome. If you want to them to make your own design, you can get something with a build volume of 27 by 25 by 43-cm.
An object with a 2 by 2 by 4-cm bounding box with a volume of 1 cubic centimeter will catch you $124. Do the math--27 by 25 by 43 would cost a mind boggling amount of cash. While it is expensive, just remember that you will be the only one with a titanium brain gear on your desk!
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