Home 3D Printer 3D printed glass-like sculpture made from sugar

3D printed glass-like sculpture made from sugar

It’s very difficult to 3D print glass because glass has such a high melting point and it is a very hard material. Because he had no chance to print glass, Victor Leung decided to try an alternative. He used sugar as printing material because molten sugar looks very similar to glass.

The printed sculptures and objects look really nice but they have not practical use at all. If you light them up the right way the shine pretty cool and maybe someone likes to eat the sugar sculptures. Of cause the sugar attracts all sorts of unwanted insects and under high humidity the objects could melt spontaneously.  For the developer and some students this is anyway a very interesting project where they have already learned much and will learn even more in the future.

There are future works to be pursued, for example improving the feed system to use a higher pressure extrusion method instead of gravity feed. This will allow a smaller nozzle size, higher printing resolution and faster feed rate.  Printing on a non flat bed is also another interesting experiment

The printing nozzle and sugar reservoir are custom made. There are many requirements to design this part. This reservoir needs to be water tight, it needs to withstand temperatures up to 150degC, it needs to have a heating element to keep the sugar warm, it needs insulation to keep the temperature steady, it needs to interface with a nozzle at the bottom and a thermocouple, and the whole assembly needs to be easily washable.

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