Sugar 3D Printing: Additive Manufacturing with Molten Sugar for Investigating Molten Material Fed Printing
3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
Recent breakthroughs in additive manufacturing of molten glass using gravity-fed mechanisms have opened a new area of research in large-scale extrusion of molten material. However, the machines and techniques used for printing molten glass are expensive and complex due to high process temperature (>1000°C). A mixture of sucrose sugar and corn syrup is proposed as an analogous substitution material for research in molten material fed three-dimensional (3D) printing. Molten sugar is optically
... ar is optically transparent and it exhibits similar temperatureviscosity relationship and solidification properties as molten glass, but at a much lower temperature (100-150°C). A low cost, desktop size 3D printer is designed with a temperature controlled sugar reservoir made from easily obtainable parts. The process of printing with molten sugar is demonstrated with success in recreating objects with similar complexity to glass prints. The techniques described in this study can be implemented easily for future investigation of glass and other molten material fed 3D printing. The design space of the printed object can be explored, for example, minimum radii, draft angle, and optical properties. Many process parameters can be tested with this system, for example, layer height, printing speed, nozzle design, multicolor material feed, and toolpath strategy.