Orbit1 is a tabletop electroplating device which can coat any 3D prototype with metal for as little as USD 2 per gram.
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With the maker movement still in full swing, personal prototyping equipment is more in demand than ever. 3D printers have become significantly more affordable and initiatives such as Hatch in the UK and Betaversity in the US are creating a multitude of temporary, accessible maker spaces. Now, Monolith Studio is hoping to add its tabletop electroplater to the mix. The Orbit1 is a device which will coat any object with metal, enabling makers to metalize their prototypes for as little as USD 2 per gram.
Having cleaned and polished their object of choice, users spray it with a conductive paint and attach the it to a rack. They then place the object in the Orbit1 and start up the accompanying app, which acts as remote control and monitor throughout the process. The Orbit1 then automatically scans and configures the size and shape of the object using a laser, and generates the best recipe. Once inside, the object rotates constantly in the solution for two hours, until a perfectly even 0.1mm — 0.2mm metal coating is applied. Users can choose from four metals — copper, nickel, palladium or gold — and can coat pretty much any object up to 200 x 150 mm.
Orbit1 is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, where backers can pre-order the device for USD 1,999. The final product is expected to ship in April 2016. What other prototyping equipment could be adapted for simplified, personal use?