Print in chocolate, sugar, and clay with a universal paste extruder

With a glut of Easter candy acquired over the last week, you might be thinking what to do with mountains of chocolate and other sugary delights. How about sending them through a 3D printer with [RichRap]’s universal paste extruder?

[RichRap]’s extruder uses a common 10cc syringes slowly squeezed by an off-the-shelf stepper motor. Chocolate wasn’t the only goal for this build;  [RichRap] also tested out cake icing, corn chip dough, muffin and sponge cake batter with his new toy. The most interesting paste in our humble opinion is porcelain ceramic clay. [RichRap] was able to make some very nice 3D printed greenware, but we’ll withhold our judgement until the ceramic parts are fired later this week.

After the break you can check out the introduction video for the Universal Paste Extruder, as well as a quick glimpse of [RichRap]’s very cool porcelain clay prints. We’re very interested in the ceramics printed with this extruder, if only for printing reprap parts that will be exposed to plastic-melting temperatures.  Of course, all the files to build your own paste extruder are up on Thingiverse.

Tip ‘o the hat to [Josef Prusa] for sending this one in.

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New extruder 3D prints tasty treats using chocolate

If you’ve never felt at home with a piping bag in your hands this chocolate extruder will come to your rescue. It can replace the plastic extruder head on your 3D printer (RepRap, Makerbot, most 3-axis CNC machines, etc.), letting you turn your digital creations into decadent reality.

The head uses a progressive cavity pump to feed the chocolate from a reservoir through the printing nozzle. It’s important to keep the chocolate warm or it will set up so when [Tomi Salo] designed the print head he included a heat shroud through which warm air can be circulated. He uses a shoe dryer to source the hot hair which is patched into the heat shroud with a length of tubing.

This extruder can be 3D printed but be careful what material you use. [Tomi] mentions that PLA is ‘sort of food-safe’ but ABS is not. We wonder if the design could be altered for milling out of aluminum or stainless? At any rate, if you’re going to give it a try you might find [Tomi’s] advice on working with chocolate useful.

[via @clothbot]

Cubicle-dwellers rewarded for reflexes

[StudioJooj] is trying to torture or test his colleagues in his office. A lot of folks leave a candy jar on their desks for all to enjoy but he’s making his friends work for their reward. Like cubicle-dwelling lab subjects, they must successfully navigate his maze to be rewarded with chocolate. The game piece is an amazingly orb-like peanut M&M candy. The maze is constructed from plywood and moves on two axis with the help of a couple of servos. The user interface includes a couple of NES console buttons to release the game piece and a PS2 joystick to control the maze. [StudioJooj] was nice enough to include a music video in his project clip.

We wonder the M&Ms will disappear faster or slower than they would from a candy jar.

[via SparkFun]