Mar 8, 2017 | By Tess

At 3Ders, not only do we enjoy hearing about new and groundbreaking 3D printing technologies and applications, but we also like to see where those technologies and the people who develop them end up, how they progress. Today, we have the chance to catch up with David Hartkop, the man behind the Mini Metal Maker 3D printer.

Hartkop developed the innovative Mini Metal Maker, an FDM-style printer capable of manufacturing metal clay objects, some years ago. The 3D printer, which was first launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2013, saw a renewed campaign in 2015 to produce the machine on a larger scale. While that Indiegogo fell short of its $150K goal, Hartkop and his team brought the 3D printer to market, and have been producing the Mini Metal Maker pro version for some time.

Mini Metal Maker 3D printer

According to Hartkop, his startup is now also offering the Metal Maker Extruder, a stand-alone extruder that users can build into their own 3D printers. Ideal for the DIY 3D printer market, the Metal Maker Extruder can be ordered for $235, and features a “heavy steel construction, stainless piston, and a high torque geared stepper motor.” The extruder, which is the same head used on the full version of the Mini Metal Maker 3D printer, can produce roughly 300 pounds of pushing force to extrude the metal clay material.

Metal Maker Extruder

Hartkop has also written a guide book for building a DIY RepRap 3D printer. The book, called Create your own Ready RepRap, features detailed illustrations and diagrams that can assist makers along each step of building their own RepRap 3D printer.

As Hartkop writes, “There are many different open-source 3D printer designs out there. Many are published at Though many plans and resources are available, the task of organizing the project can often be too daunting to accomplish in the classroom. Create your own Ready RepRap is intended to pull all of those resources together into an accessible course curriculum for makers, educators and students.”

The Ready RepRap 3D printer is, according to Hartkop, one of the easier 3D printer models to build yourself. Consisting of only 25 3D printed parts, the 3D printer can be built using only hand tools, and can be realized for as little as $250.

In the book, Hartkop is channeling his experiences as not only a maker, but also as an educator, as he worked as a technology trainer for the Pueblo City-County Library District and as faculty for the Pueblo Community College School of Film & Television.

David Hartkop

Hartkop has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for his new book, which will help him to finish the book and to bring it to publication. The campaign, which is seeking to raise $2,500, offers a number of backer rewards, such as a PDF version of the book (for $15), a bound copy of the book ($25), a set of 10 books for workshops ($225), or a set of 20 for the classroom ($400).

“With your support,” writes Hartkop. “We will complete and publish Build the Ready RepRap, a truly comprehensive beginner’s guide to creating an open source 3D printer. Good instructions make all the difference on the path to positive learning outcomes!”



Posted in 3D Printer



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