Most of you know me for my laser cutting work, however my other passion is additive manufacturing or 3D printing as it is commonly known. I have worked in this industry for a large portion of my career and use it on a daily bases to create parts, models and end user products.
Some time ago I started researching how to 3d print sugar. Using my powder based system I optimised it to be able to create 3d printed models made completely from sugar. Best part is you can eat it too!!
This opens up a world of opportunity.
This is a example of a model I created last week.
My plans are to continue developing the system and working to a better end product.
You could say my job is pretty sweet.
Come and visit us at 3dchef and see our latest edible 3d prints.
Few know but without the flexiblity and versillity of the laser cutter the home 3d printing revolution may have looked a lot different.
Scores of new 3d printer companies are popping up all over the globe but they all have one thing in common, that is they all use laser cutting to produce the parts required to construct a machine. The laser cutter is able to produce simple to complex components in varied materials and thickness with precision accuracy and cost effective speed, added to that the low cost of materials and you can start to see why the laser cutter is playing such an important role in this way of making things.
Like 3d printers, the laser cutter has also been around for some time but it’s only now combined with the interest of 3d printers that the laser cutter is starting to be used far more often than ever before. Strangely enough the people who build 3d printers are thinking in a 2d way, “How can I best make this 2d part to cut easily”.
(Now, this is not the most amazing video of all time, but it does clearly illustrate the power of laser cutting).
Building something 3d for 2d is a puzzle and it’s not always straight forward. You start with your vision and work back from there. Adding in locking systems in the forms of studs and holes, nuts and bolts, some electronics, stepper motors and some travel rods and “Bang” you have made yourself a 3d printer.
You often hear people say the 3d printer is amazing and it is, but you never hear that of the laser cutter.
Why is that?
Just remember next time you hear about a home built 3d printer, it was the laser cutter humming away in the background that made it all possible.
To find out more about these types of 3d printers check out some of these companies: Bits from Bytes, Makerbot, Ultimaker
Ever wanted to eat your our jewelry or sweeten up your coffee in a unique way?
Well I can now help you with that.
This is a 3d printed ring I made using only my laser cutter and standard white sugar!
The process uses the heat generated in the laser beam to semi-melt the sugar crystals which are then fused together as it cools.
After a single pass on the laser I lowered the Z axis of the laser cutter, threw in a bit more sugar and hit “Go” once again.
I repeated this process 4 times and in the end it created this 5mm thick ring made from just sugar.
And the best part I didn’t even mention yet. While the laser is melting the sugar it smells just like Fairy Floss, oh yum.
How cool is that!?
Since this first attempt I have also produced and interlocking ring to prove its possible.
Now I am thinking of a printing system for even sugar delivery for improved part consistency.
Now I have to come up with something truly “sweet” to make, suggestions welcome.
The structure was stronger than I originally expected.
The ring shape after a single pass of the laser cutter.
The laser engraved sugar link