3D printing in metal is not easy: it's expensive, time-consuming and usually requires a highly specialized printer well out of a consumer-friendly price range. The Orbit 1, on display this weekend at Maker Faire 2014 in Queens, New York, may just be the solution to this problem.
Developed by startup Monolith Studio, the Orbit 1 isn't exactly a 3D printer: instead, the device can coat objects in a metal finish, called Go-Plating. The creators told me they plan to put the device on Kickstarter this January, and expect to sell it for between $3,000 and $4,000.
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The Orbit looks a little bit like a cross between a blender and a lava lamp: it mainly consists of a cylinder designed to hold a metal solution. Objects you want coated are placed inside this cylinder, suspended from a wire on the lid, and rotated inside the solution.
Right now the Orbit 1 works with four metals: nickel, copper, lead and gold. To use it, you first coat an object in a liquid form of the desired metal, then place it in a solution of that metal and other chemicals inside the Orbit 1. The machine then spins your object inside the liquid until the metal coating achieves the desired thickness.