3D Printing with Plastic? Pfft, whatever. Metal. Old hat. Bone? Get out of here! The number of materials being used and experimented on with 3D printers is getting out of hand – and actually, it’s quite remarkable.
3D Printed Chocolate
You have surely heard about printing chocolate before. Now, the ability to print chocolate is in your hands. The Choc Creator is the first commercially available countertop chocolate printer. The first version available is currently up for bid on the ChocEdge Ebay page. (Current bid is at £1,800.00 (US $2850) with three days to go.) Retail price for the choco printers will be £2,488 (US $3940) and are available for pre-order on the ChocEdge website.
After a flurry of positive press and feedback, University of Exeter researcher and Chroc Creator inventor Dr Lian Hao decided to turn his gadget into something commercially available. Thus, Choc Edge was born. In addition to the 3D printer, Choc Edge’s chocolate-printing kit includes a tool that lets you create your own chocolate designs from start to finish. (PC World)
3D Printed Stone
DShape is leading the 3D printed stone revolution. And this 3D printing stone is literally, a beautiful thing. The technology and process opens up 3D printing of large-scale structures, with more interest taking hold each year. Want to print your home?
3D Printed Ice Tea and Salt
Open3DP is a site sponsored by the Solheim Additive Manufacturing Laboratory out of the University of Washington’s Mechanical Engineering Department. They’ve been experimenting with printing all sorts of materials. Turns out, they finally have a recipe for Ice tea. Since the binders make it inedible, I can’t think of any use for this material. I’ll leave it to SolidSmack readers to see if they can think of one.
3D Printed Sugar
Evil Mad Scientist is leading the CandyFab project. It’s Caramel, in a technical sense. The sugar is melted down by a heat gun. Werther’s ought to jump onto this boat, that is, if they don’t have them in their secret underground candy factory already.
3D Printed Bone
Open3DP is also experimenting with bone. This is in my ‘meh’ category. The true strength of actual bone is its construction – its foam-like structure. This process is simply using sand binded layer by layer. Still cool!
3D Printed Organs
Having spare body parts just can’t happen soon enough it seems. West Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is one company leading the charge here. The whole field of regenerative medicine is interesting. Printing organs is just one aspect of creating new organs.
Disclosure: JF Brandon works closely with D-Shape on bringing the D-Shape technology to other parts of the world.