The US Patent & Trademark Office published today a new series of five Liquidmetal patent applications from Apple which were originally filed in Q2 2012. Two of Apple’s inventions are related to 3D printing. They are methods of construction a part with build metallic glasses (BMG – Liquidmetal) layer by layer.
In one embodiment, a layer of BMG powder is deposited to selected positions and then fused to a layer below by suitable methods such as laser heating or electron beam heating. The deposition and fusing are then repeated as need to construct the part layer by layer. One or more layers of non-BMG can be used as needed. In one embodiment, layers of BMG can be cut from one or more sheets of BMG to desired shapes, stacked and fused to form the part.
Another method is to selectively deposite molten bulk metallic glass (BMG). In one embodiment, a continuous stream or discrete droplets of molten BMG is deposited to selected positions. The deposition can be repeated as needed layer by layer. One or more layers of non-BMG can be used as needed.
The patent can be used for producing products such as smart phone like iPhone, TV monitor, electronic-book reader, an iPad, and a computer monitor. It can also be used to make DVD player, video game console, music player, such as a portable music player (e.g., iPod), etc. It can be a part of a remote control for an electronic device, or a part of a computer or its accessories, such as the hard drive tower housing or casing, laptop housing, laptop keyboard, laptop track pad, desktop keyboard, mouse, and speaker….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!