There’s just something about the idea of firing off edible objects at the push of a button that seems to grab the imagination in way few other things can.
This week, our culinary fix comes from Australia-born, Netherlands-based artist Julian Sing.
Sing’s two latest models are a 12 cm high 3D printed meshed egg and a saccharine take on the 3D printed firearm. Both were created with the designer’s very own, specially developed sugar printing technique and exhibit the surprisingly firm stability of which it is capable. Using a ZCorp 310+, he prints in a sugar based powder that is supported by a binder agent that holds it all together.
After forging a career as an expert laser cutter specialising in architecture and jewellery, Sing has spent the last few years perfecting a sugar printing technique. It began when Sing, having experimented with laser cutting on fruit and vegetables, realised that by laser cutting with sugar, he could essentially use the foodstuff as the material in a selective laser sintering process.
His first piece was a ring made from white sugar back in 2011. As the inventor explains:
The process uses the heat generated in the laser beam to semi-melt the sugar crystals that are then fused together as it cools. After a single pass on the laser I lowered the Z axis of the laser cutter, threw in a bit more sugar and hit “Go” once again. I repeated this process 4 times and in the end it created this 5mm thick ring made from just sugar. And the best part I didn’t even mention yet. While the laser is melting the sugar it smells just like Fairy Floss, oh yum!
That certainly sounds like a tastier alternative to stinky old ABS.
Since then, Sing has developed the technique further and, with help from food scientists, chemists and engineers he hopes to perfect it over the coming years. To read about his journey and view some more of his tasty creations, check out Sing’s website 3DChef.