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Sugar/Meringue Powder Experiments

Posted by Ezrec 
Sugar/Meringue Powder Experiments
February 07, 2016 05:58PM
I've recently begun sugar/meringue powder experiments on my Z310+, with good success.

I'm documenting my work on my own page (as the Z310+ is a commercial non-open source product), but I believe the recipe may be useful for others who are experimenting with powder printing.

This cheap recipe uses rice wine (sake - about 15% alcohol) as a binder, and sugar plus other easily available components to make powder suitable for 0.2mm layer heights and ~0.4mm resolution.

Testing in being conducted on a ZCorp Z310+.

  • Granulated sugar, 25lb
  • Wilton's Meringue Powder, 8oz
  • Diamond 10-X Powdered Sugar, 64oz (super fine sugar powder + corn starch)

Mix together, then pulse in a food processors (about 1lb at a time, or however much your food processor will hold) for approx 120 seconds total, until the powder is at a fine grain consistency.

When printing, adjust saturation such that the binder penetrates approx 0.1mm into the layer above during spreading.

Too wet, and you will get 'tearing' of the object during the spread, too dry, and you will not get good inter-layer bonding.

  • Print at 0.2mm per layer.
  • Cure 'in bed' for at least 8 hours before removal (or 4 hours, if you can heat the chamber to 35C-40C)
    • Shell will be hard enough to handle air depowdering and manual brushing
    • Inner core material will still be soft.
  • Part will continue to harden for 48 hours (depending on temp & humidity)
    • Shell will be hardened in about 12 hours
    • Core material fully hardened after 48 hours
  • Make sure to *thoroughly* clean the roller/spreader with a dry paper towel after each print.

I highly recommend adding a dye to your binder (food coloring works well) so that it easier to determine where the surface boundaries are when depowdering.
open | download - ZCorp_Z310+_ezspread_owl.jpg (79 KB)
open | download - 450px-ZCorp_Z310+_ezspread_complex.jpg (23.6 KB)
Re: Sugar/Meringue Powder Experiments
June 16, 2016 05:36PM
Have you ever tried to use a mix of cotton candy and powdered sugar? In theory if you move the laser slowly enough you should be able to create caramelized 3d structures. Introducing small amounts of salt (0.5%) should stop the sugar from melting uncontrolled.
My background is in chemistry and I want to explore that possibility, but do not have access to a CO2 based SLS printer. So I thought I could reach out to the community.
Anyway I would love to hear your results if you have given it a thought.
Re: Sugar/Meringue Powder Experiments
June 16, 2016 05:51PM
... some years ago I did some tests with a NIR-laserdiode with [email protected] and a spot with 0.1mm diameter on powdered shugar mixed with some carbon black - this worked pretty good, but I had to reduce the power down to some hundred Milliwatts and short pulse times or the shugar melted to random blobs instead of fine traces.

With adding dark pigment to plastic powder you can use the blue 455nm-diodes with 2W to 3.5W for plastic SLS ...

Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Sugar/Meringue Powder Experiments
July 08, 2016 02:15PM
Just for the record, I'm using binder jetting, not SLS laser melting.
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