Toolpath

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    Because the hot air gun blows air continuously, it leaves a shallow trail wherever it goes, indicating the toolpath of the heater over the sugar surface.

    Read more about the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories 3D Fabricator Project here.

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    1. the_other_ben 95 months ago | reply

      Is the process to add another layer of loose sugar automatic? Did you have to do anything special in the code to get it to work well as the sugar loses volume when melted?

      Yet another idea: you mentioned wax; you could make a large object from wax in one color, then put seven (or whatever symmetric number) wicks through it, put it in a container, and fill the empty volume with normal translucent white paraffin wax. As the giant candle burns down, cross sections of the object are revealed.

    2. oskay 95 months ago | reply

      The process to add the next layer of sugar is fully manual, and needs to be done each time that a layer finishes, which can be from several minutes to several hours, depending on the amount of 2D area that is printed on a given layer. For the layer shown in the picture above, the total time was probably about 30 minutes.

      We had originally planned to build a large hopper above the unit that would sprinkle down the correct amount of sugar and then run the carriage back and forth with a squeegee to flatten it out. That's not necessarily an easy task, so we decided to put it off until everything else was working.

      As a temporary measure, we realized that we could just put in two scoops of sugar by hand after each layer and use a straight edge to flatten out the newly added sugar. This has turned out to be so easy and reliable that we simply lost interest in trying to make an automated system.

    3. the_other_ben 95 months ago | reply

      Ah, then I can see what you mean about not having time to do more before the Maker Faire. How long did it take to finish that object?

    4. oskay 95 months ago | reply

      This one was probably close to 24 hours of print time. As you can see, there's room for improvement. =)

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