Finally, 3D printed objects I can really sink my teeth into.
Cake icing seems more manageable as an edible printing material (more like the meltable plastic string). I would think chocolate would take too long to solidify (although you could print molds for it with a regular plastic printer). I'd love to see a picture of their printer to get a better idea of the technology.
But (unfortunately) if they print customer's models, i couldn't see it on their web site (but sometimes internet doesn't work so well where I am).
I smiled a little at the repeated warnings that sugar melts in water and under heat. Is the assumption that engineers don't know the properties of common cooking ingredients? Note: Unless you work for the design firm of Hansel & Gretel and build gingerbread houses for wicked witches, DO NOT use sugar in load-bearing structures! :)
A biochemist was looking for a way to print blood vessels to make kidneys. He went to hive76 to see if they can print in sugar - they figured it out.
So - old news - a hackerspace beat them to it.
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One of our core members, Jordan Miller, has just published a scientific paper using RepRap 3D printing technology to engineer living tissues for regenerative medicine. I'll give you a rundown of the science and a step-by-step guide of how Jordan got to this great spot in his career. Jordan is quick to point out that this is work that would not have been possible 5 years ago, or without the help of RepRap, Hive76, and this wonderful city of Philadelphia.
You can read the Penn press release about this awesome science, an overview from Science News, or the full paper. A more detailed post about the hardware used in this project will follow and soon you'll be able to make your own sugar extruder. (It prints chocolate too!)
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.