by • February 11, 2016 • No Comments
Feb 12, 2016 | By Benedict
Post-holiday dieting must be well and truly over, for the reason we’ve had two chocolate 3D printing stories in a day. 3D printed organs? 3D printed houses? Okay, but we’ve all got priorities, and with Valentine’s Day looming, the current priority of the maker community seems to be 3D printed chocolate. Yum. Following on of our earlier story of blogger Richrap’s valiant take on to 3D print the discontinued Trio chocolate bar, Instructables user Dainis_Dz has now created a functional chocolate 3D printing device extruder for the Ultimaker 3D printing device. Forget to buy that Valentine’s Day gift? Quick! Modify your Ultimaker and get choc-struding!
Frankly, it’s times like these when we should be thankful for the community spirit embedded in the 3D printing industry. Nobody features that spirit advantageous than Netherlands-based 3D printing device developer Ultimaker, whose open source hardware permits the kind of radical sweet-toothed experimentation carried out by tinkerers like Dainis. The Instructables user’s handy instruction shows makers how to alter their innately hackable Ultimaker 3D printing device into a legitimate chocolate factory. Turns out all you require is a syringe and a few cold weather.
In actual fact, 3D printing chocolate is a lot like 3D printing plastic. Both materials—one delicious; one less so—require to be melted by the hot-end of the 3D printing device, preceding being squeezed out through the nozzle. But wait! You can’t just feet reels of chocolate through your computer desktop 3D printing device, as you will end up with a gloopy mess and can just poison by yourself. Follow Dainis’s steps closely and you will soon be putting Lindt and Hershey’s out of business with your own batch of elaborate 3D printed treats.
To modify his Ultimaker, Dainis utilized a 20ml syringe covered with aluminum foil and Kapton tape, fashioning a heater of NiCr wire coiled around the syringe and covered with additional Kapton. The tinkerer and so wrapped a layer of aluminum foil and additional Kapton around the heater to ensure actually heat distribution, preceding installing an NTC 100kOhm thermistor with that he may exactly control the heat.
After a few minor firmware modifications (preheat temperature 30°C, 90 steps per mm), Dainis sourced a few M5 threaded rod and other bits to act as a feeder that may press the melted chocolate through the syringe. But that chocolate to use? Working with the cheapest milk chocolate at the grocery keep (way to treat your enjoyed one, Dainis) was a total failure, as the melted chocolate stayed melted for an hour after extrusion—far of perfect when additional chocolate requires to be stacked on top of it. A darker chocolate was discovered that may be melted at 35°C as opposed to the milk chocolate’s 30°C, but the chocolate yet wouldn’t rad quickly enough…
The solution? Move the hacked 3D printing device outside, of course! With Dainis already enjoying a tropical -4°C winter, moving his Ultimaker outside allowed the extruded chocolate to quickly rad down and solidify, enabling the future layer to be applied without destroying the sugary underlying structure. On the other hand this relocation cautilized the extruder to have trouble melting the chocolate at all, Dainis discovered the perfect compromise by starting the print inside preceding wheeling the machine outside to perform the bulk of the print.
There you have it: 3D printed chocolate of an Ultimaker 3D printing device, with just a handful of DIY modifications. 3D printed chocolate hearts? 3D printed chocolate flowers? I don’t know; I’m no romantic, but extrude a fewthing sweet this Sunday and your choc-struding syringe won’t be the just thing getting a squeeze!
Posted in 3D Printer Accessories
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