After the success of my first instructable, a fully functional LEGO 3D printer, I was planning to make some improvements.
At first I was planning to replace the Z-axis threaded rods by cnc lead screws. This should result in a smoother z axis motion. With an improved accuracy of the prints in the height.
A next step would be an improvement in the X-axis. To allow more weight on top of the carrier. I was going to modify the Extruder-carrier from standing to lying. Additionally this also would have made room for a second extruder.
All this, until a colleague pointed me to the Remix Contest. Along with the question whether my printer could print chocolate. This resulted in a second version of the "3D chocolate printer made from LEGO" made by Saul (April 2005). He ends his instructable with: hopefully someone will rebuild this and simplify it.
It's 2015, and thus the original instructable is over 10 years old, still gets replies, but nobody made such a printer. Since I already made a LEGO 3D printer, all I had to do was build a chocolate extruder :)
Unfortunately, printing chocolate isn't easy.
But it can be done. And basically there are two ways to print chocolate (at home):
- Use a worm screw. And press melted chocolate out a nozzle. This requires pre-melted chocolate or a heating system.
- Use pre-melted chocolate in a syringe.
Without a heating system, the chocolate will solidify sooner with a worm screw. The chocolate will also be in touch with more LEGO. Also this requires the extruder to be disassembled and cleaned after each print.
That's why I've chosen the second option. This version is also the easiest to make with LEGO. In addition, the chocolate remains edible. And that's what it's all about.