Instructables

3D chocolate printer made from LEGO

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Using lego and a few custom components a 3D printer for chocolate is possible. I did this project a long time ago so the documentation is incomplete, but hopefully it will inspire someone to rebuild it and fill in the blanks.
 
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Step 1: Make a chocolate extruder.

These were my first rough plans for a chocolate extruder. Powdered chocolate into a heated barrel, lego worm screws as the slurry pump through an ejection nozzle.

Step 2: Cut extrusion chamber

bandsaw - 1" x 1" x 3" aluminum extrusion

Step 5: Interchangeable nozzle and set screw

I put an interchangeable nozzle and set screw in the end of the chocolate extruder. the idea was this would make it easier to change the diameter of the chocolate bead being extruded as well as making it easier to clean out the chamber as necessary - like when chocolate melts solidly inside it...

Step 6: Cartridge heater positions around extrusion chamber.

i placed the cartridge heaters around the extrusion chamber like so. I need a jobbers drill bit to drill the 1/8in holes deep enough.

Step 7: Fully assembled extrusion chamber.

again, in theory the lego thermometer and programmable brick should be enough to do the chocolate control, but i used the PID and thermocouple because i was just interested in proving the concept and i had those lying around my lab.

Step 8: Testing the extrusion chamber

Here i am testing the extrusion chamber.

Step 9: Build a lego gantry

I can't remember all the details, but it's pretty simple. i used rack and pinions for the X and Y axis gantries.

there are lots of ways to do this. You really want z axis too. i hacked the Z axis by using a layer by layer increment ratchet that was mechanical. given the memory limits of the PCX bricks, one layer was about all you could program before having to upload a new layer code anyway.
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fluctuat1 year ago
Ok this is pretty genius, but what about 3D objects? Does the chocolate stay hot for too long? How about a cooling fan after the drip nozzle? Ultimately I think printing a chocolate bunny would be the benchmark for this awesome machine.

a year ago i know but..... pressurize the chocolate rater than melt it? i remember seeing a cool idea ages ago about putting chocolate through a plastic injection molding machine... the result chocolate is fluid a high pressure but sets quick. this was an idea to aid chocolate manufacture and de-molding times but might work in a 3d printer :)

LXMaker10 months ago
3D printer just to market is relatively expensive, after all, is a technology that has just started, manufacturing cost is relatively high, after a period of time,technology is more and more popular, the price drop. Consumers consider theother countries of the brand, the price is relatively low, such as LXMaker.Interested in 3D print can log onto the http://goo.gl/6l6j29 or http://goo.gl/2wt6LU view details.
Jacky P1 year ago
Can you add a parts list?
maxiwatt2 years ago
Show me the Money!!! (ie- tasty chocolate results!)
ProCactus2 years ago
what does it do?

If someone makes a chocolate printer, You would think they had an example.
Maybe" Step 10 - Lets build some chocolate stuff!" is not finished?
geckomage2 years ago
haha, i was just using my labs 3d printer and then saw this article so i figured i'd give it a read :) support material would be hard to do for this one :( i use a special type of plastic that desolves in a special acid bath and leaves the structural material behind :)
dscott42 years ago
Hey there,

I would love to see your project in the 3D print group I have just started!!!!

http://www.instructables.com/group/3Dprint/
NE patsrock3 years ago
u should add a vid to show how it works
bgepp13 years ago
omg - smh - pfa (pretty friggin awesome) - this is sweeeeeet!
Dude5674 years ago
Where did you get your lego worm gears
i know for sure that you can get some in the starwars ships with opening wings, maybe you can find some in technix sets (i think thats what they are called anyways)
Yea, get them in tecknic sets, almost all of 'em have worm gears

:D
bricklink.com
njolley3 years ago
Great Instructable - well done! For those who are interested beyond lego, head to Makerbot Industries for a frosting extruder and RepRap for a plastic extruder to bolt onto this lego design. I'm going to put this extruder on my cnc project!!!!!
this seems to be a lego version of the bag extruder that all bakers use
the new Nxt is out so you cound make vary good chocolate sculptures
ESPECIALLY since is has 1 degree accurate servos!
kiamokh4 years ago
can someone help me
yes
jantine3 years ago
You win. I'm not going to build it, because i am too lazy to do so, but it is awesomely cool that you did.
roland9853 years ago
100% pure win. Yum, This is my summer project.
hanelyp3 years ago
A few points:
- A PID controller strikes me as overkill for the heating control, but if you have one ready on hand it works.
- This should work well with wax or other low melting point materials instead of chocolate.
- A second nozzle laying down powdered sugar filler between the chocolate could allow more flexible designs.
er04013 years ago
Omg u should submit this to Lego magazine and see if they'll let an adults cool creation be entered! :)
9ale73 years ago
did i miss the wiring step of the CNC motors?
or was it manual not using any motors in the X Y axis?
( in the video it looks like a cnc)
freerunnin13 years ago
isn't the frame work that znaps stuff?, iv'e got some somewhere... im planning on using an old hp printer and exchanging the ink for a feeding chamber for the stuff that will print out the 3d model, not sure what yet maybe sugar or something...
worth the try, we all have old printers sitting there doing nothing,
but i worry about the programing?!
any idea?? even to be used in CNC???
mary candy3 years ago
great!!!
9309133 years ago
Awsome- great job. I liked the comment idea of a lego printer that prints legos hahaha. GJ
wat is this supposed to do? make shapes of chocoalate?
*sigh*
mtownsend5 years ago
Siiiiiigh. I am way too young to be out of it. When I read the title i thought you were going to be printing ON chocolate. Like for eating. I really felt stupid when I realized what was actually happening here.
If you just want to print on food, cake shops do it all the time, they used printers that are retrofitted to dispense food coloring. Somone should figure out how they do that and make an instructable on it.
same kinda pissed it isnt actually
Phew! Was worried I was the only one who thought that =D
You're disappointed that you thought it was to print ON chocolate as opposed to printing a 3D chocolate object? Printing on is thousands of times easier than what this guy did. This thing is only a step below a 3D prototype printer, but it's better because you can eat what comes out of this :D *drooooooooool* Now, if you can only convert this to use liquid polymers. You can make a lego machine that makes legos:)
 You mean like a von newmann machine?
sethcim3 years ago
What was the chocolate recipe?
benthekahn6 years ago
I think I am going to attempt this with NXT! *insert dramatic music*
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