Liquid Metal 3D Printing to Revolutionize Manufacturing

A father and son team in University at Buffalo's START-UP NY program have invented a liquid metal printing machine that could represent a significant transformation in manufacturing. Former University at Buffalo student Zack Vader initially had the idea five years ago, and now produces the machines through his Amherst, NY-based company Vader Systems, of which his mechanical engineer father is CEO. His breakthrough came when he thought to expose molten metal in a confined chamber with an orifice to a pulsed magnetic field. The transient field induces a pressure with the metal that ejects a droplet. That was the key to making droplets of liquid metal eject from a nozzle. Other metal printers 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.