3D Printing in the Kitchen

3D Printing in the Kitchen

Answering the question, should you buy a 3D printer for the kitchen

For the past year, I have been looking for a reason to buy one. Mind you, I've been looking at them since 2016 in my research in 3D metal printer all because I found out it was going to cost me $3k+ to make stainless steel square mold to send to a manufacturer

Fast forward to today.

The first question you should be asking yourself is it going to be worth the investment? If you plan to use it one-time use? Just find a friend or someone that has one, it's not worth the waste of space.

What we are were researching (All links are on the bottom of page, we suggest looking at them!) Turned out to not be good enough for a kitchen after Brandon mentioned one important thing, we'd need to be able to dishwasher or autoclave anything we wanted to make.

What we found out from reading and researching is using Nylon CoPA (co-polymer) is best. However, there are many variables to take into account. This led to us asking the following question: what is the material's melting point and warping point (Vicat Softening Temperature)?

The reason why you need to know this is for when you are dishwashing or autoclaving, any material you use is going to have to withstand high temperature for an extended amount of time.

Heath Departments and the USDA require that dishwashers reach a temperature of at least 180ºF and autoclaves must reach a minimum of 250ºF at 15 psi for at least 30 minutes to sterilize any material inside of them which is too hot for most plastics used by common 3D printers.

We also found out through our research is that when the material cools down rapidly, it can warp and break down much easier. The trick is being able to warm the build chamber enough so that the difference in temperature as the material cools down is not a large as when the 3D rpinter is at room temperature. In the article linked below, a group of recearchers designed a method in which a simple cardboard box lined with plastic and a space heater are used to create an incubation chamber to keep the printer warm and prevent the plastic material from warping!

What we will currently be using this for is our ice cream containers (because they are ungodly expensive) and Brandon has some cool science projects that we'll be testing out too!

Our research material:

  1. Low Cost Consumer 3D Printers
  2. Polypropylene Material Properties
  3. Guide to Buying a 3D Printer
  4. Sterile 3D Printing Materials for Medical Devices
Posted by
Nicolas Ganea
November 20, 2021

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