3D Printing

Tabletop electroplater could let you become a real-life King Midas

Tabletop electroplater could l...
The Orbit1 aims to make electroplating simple and affordable
The Orbit1 aims to make electroplating simple and affordable
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The Orbit1 efficient, coating objects in metal for just US$2/g
1/5
The Orbit1 efficient, coating objects in metal for just US$2/g
Orbit1 aims to provide an affordable way of finishing objects measuring up to 200 mm (7.8 in) x 150 mm (5.9 in) with a coating of copper, nickel, palladium or gold
2/5
Orbit1 aims to provide an affordable way of finishing objects measuring up to 200 mm (7.8 in) x 150 mm (5.9 in) with a coating of copper, nickel, palladium or gold
There are LED lights inside the machine allowing users to watch the electroplating take place, and the entire process takes a maximum of two hours
3/5
There are LED lights inside the machine allowing users to watch the electroplating take place, and the entire process takes a maximum of two hours
The Orbit1 aims to make electroplating simple and affordable
4/5
The Orbit1 aims to make electroplating simple and affordable
The app that goes along with the device is designed to be easy to use, offering a Smart Mode with recommended settings for each of the different available finishes
5/5
The app that goes along with the device is designed to be easy to use, offering a Smart Mode with recommended settings for each of the different available finishes
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Orbit1 is a tabletop electroplating solution aimed at small businesses, makers and hobbyists, allowing them to coat any small object in a choice of four metallic finishes. The device, which is currently the subject of a crowdfunding effort, is relatively low cost, efficient to run, and pairs with a smartphone app to provide an accessible metal-coating experience.

While the price of 3D printers has come down significantly over the last few years, the same cannot be said for metal printing. Orbit1 aims to provide hobbyists and small businesses with an affordable way of finishing objects measuring up to 200 x 150 mm (7.8 x 5.9 in) with a coating of copper, nickel, palladium or gold. Furthermore, it's also efficient, coating objects in metal for just US$2/g.

Coating objects with the Orbit1 is a three-step process. First, users need to thoroughly clean the object they wish to coat, before evenly spraying it with proprietary conductive paint. Once placed inside Orbit1, the machine laser-scans the object and configures itself automatically, before the user launches the process using the iOS or Android companion app.

The Orbit1 efficient, coating objects in metal for just US$2/g
The Orbit1 efficient, coating objects in metal for just US$2/g

The metal layer is added gradually to the object until the pre-defined level of thickness is achieved. There are LED lights inside the machine allowing users to watch the electroplating take place, with the entire process taking a maximum of two hours.

The app that goes along with the device is designed to be easy to use, offering a Smart Mode with recommended settings for each of the different available finishes. For more advanced users, there's an Expert Mode that allows the parameters of a coating to be manually adjusted. During the electroplating process, the app acts as a status monitor, providing information to keep track of the process.

The app that goes along with the device is designed to be easy to use, offering a Smart Mode with recommended settings for each of the different available finishes
The app that goes along with the device is designed to be easy to use, offering a Smart Mode with recommended settings for each of the different available finishes

Monolith Studio, the company behind the project, believes that there are a wealth of potential uses for Orbit1. It allows companies and creators to quickly prototype their products and ideas, making it appealing to a wide range of potential customers.

For the product to become a reality, it will first have to hit its US$200,000 Kickstarter goal by the time the effort concludes on June 19. The early bird pledge price for the electroplater sits at $1,999.

If the crowdfunding campaign is successful, the company will use the funds to further optimize the Orbit1 before going into mass production. It plans to start shipping units in August 2016.

For more on the Orbit1, you can take a look at the video below.

Sources: Orbit1, Kickstarter

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4 comments
The Skud
A clever device, but how much do the makers save by not putting 'manual' controls on it for the user? Everything one is offered lately has an 'app' to go with it, from bicycle speedos to dog collars! Personally I have managed for 70 years without a smart phone of any kind and would like to continue do so, without being forced to buy one just to run household or hobby shop devices, desirable though they may be.
christopher
This ($1999) + Apple Watch ($350) + $2 gold = $14,000 apple watch look-alike.
paulinsf
I can see that this could be very useful. My only concern, which hasn't been addressed here, is the environmental impact. Over the years I have become aware that many commercial electroplating operations have resulted in significant ground contamination of the sites requiring expensive clean up. I can't help but wonder if the above process might be creating the same problems, albeit on a much smaller scale. What will we be sending to the sewage processing plant or the landfill?
StWils
Total BS. Also, I am tired of hearing even one more idiot idea for an app to do something that worked just fine without cell phones even existing. At a local college, Rochester Institute of Technology, some kid has worked for TWO YEARS on an app to "improve" or otherwise automate making pour over coffee. Elsewhere in this issue of Gizmag there is an article about a digital flatulence sensor. Presumably, fart blogging, or even better, literal tweeting will emerge shortly. The only upside is if some smart ass kid figures out how to connive some Vulture Capital fund to cough up a few mill$ to fund a dream startup. Sorta gives the Facebook story a few avenue to evolve along.