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The Sweet Side of 3D Printing

The Sweet Side of 3D Printing

The Sweet Side of 3D Printing

Sure, the invention of 3D printing is sweet! But now, 3D printing is even sweeter, literally!

The innovation that is created through the invention of 3D printing continues to evolve with each passing day. Although we might be a little more familiar with the 3D printing process that involves plastic, Structur3D Printing has invented a new 3D printer add-on by the name of Discov3ry. This new invention allows users to begin the 3D printing process with soft, almost paste-like materials that can then be printed through any filament-based 3D printer. The Discov3ry might just open the doors to a world where 3D printed objects are soft and bendable; sometimes even edible 3D objects are created.

This means that anything from silicone and ceramics to some “sweet” materials like icing, sugar and even Nutella can be printed with this invention!

Charles Mire and Andrew Finkle of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada are the principals of Structur3D Printing. Both men are material engineers and have taken a different approach for the paste printing problem.

Their new approach was focused on “reinventing only the parts of the printer that are involved with the delivery and extrusion of the material.” This is why they invented the Discov3ry Paste Extruder, because it was designed to work with almost any fused deposition modeling (FDM) desktop 3D printer system.

This new paste extruder can do just about anything. Structur3D has tested their new extruder with food printing, in particular, with cake frosting. Although this is the “sweet” side to this invention, the Discov3ry, as we mentioned before, can print with materials like ceramics, silicon and polyurethane, to name a few. This feature is great for prototyping more flexible objects like insoles or even gaskets! Furthermore, this invention has the potential to be used for biomedical applications that range from prosthetics to hearing aids and even surgical implants.

Here’s a quick video of Structur3D’s Discov3ry creating a deliciously sweet 3D-printed creation!

Copyright Inventionland 2014

Sources:

http://www.3dprinterworld.com/article/universal-paste-extruder-called-discov3ry

http://mashable.com/2014/06/10/3d-printer-nutella/

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2014/05/13/universal-paste-extruder-launch-maker-faire-weekend/

Media:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rloP_vxDaBQ