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Printer Toys

3D Chocolate Printer Made from Legos? 165

enrico_suave writes " (linked via Coral P2P Cache because the poor guy is hosting on a ADSL line) has cool design pics, a now removed video clip, and some interesting details of the process. From one of the plog entries: 'We've developed a print head that will print 5mm 'pixels' of the consumable. It basically acts as a pump. It's a medium sized lego gear (driven by a worm gear attached to the motor) with four axles that repeatedly squeeze and release a pipe attached to a funnel that holds the consumables. a half-rotation of this wheel yields a blob.'"
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3D Chocolate Printer Made from Legos?

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  • Not 3D (Score:5, Informative)

    by Oculus Habent ( 562837 ) * <(oculus.habent) (at) (> on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:01PM (#10218872) Journal
    It's not a 3D printer. It only moves on two axes. The chocolate is somewhat thick, but it's still just one layer. A nice design, though.
  • Exec Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:15PM (#10218956)
    From the glance over the page I took:

    The printer is made with two controllers, one for each axis of the printer, which communicate via IR. The X axis is the master, and sends commands to the Y axis controller. The Y axis controller is on the print head itself, where (I suppose) the X axis controller is on the case. Standard plotter design, really. The print mechanism is four axles that rotate and squeeze a tube filled with melted chocolate. Black & Green 75% cocoa, if it means anything to anyone. 5mm dots, but that's sufficient to make a decent picture.

    I didn't see any pictures of the device. There were some images of the controller motor setups from Mac Brick CAD, but no real pics. The video was removed from the original site, so it didn't get mirrored.

  • Also interesting (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:20PM (#10218972)
    Saul Griffith at Mit Media Lab has worked with 3-D lego printers that put down wax and chocolate.
    His master's thesis: s.pdf []
    is about "Towards Personal Fabricators: Tabletop tools for micron and submicron scale functional rapid prototyping".

    I'm more intested in putting down plaster myself.
    Then you can cast metal in it...
  • Re:dammit (Score:3, Informative)

    by ashkar ( 319969 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:24PM (#10218989)
    It appears that Coral is having problems. Trying any website via Coral is a dead end right now.
  • editors on drug? (Score:2, Informative)

    by hdd ( 772289 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:32PM (#10219026)
    how could a story like this one get onto /. front page, it's nothing more a 2 axis lego printer with a an exaggerated name (there is one on the back of lego mindstorm invention retail box, and you can build one from the step by step instruction that comes with ULTIMATE BUILDERS SET (3800)) yeah, it can squeeze chocolate, but it's not like we have girlfriends anyway.
  • Ooh! (Score:4, Informative)

    by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:33PM (#10219029) Homepage
    Looks like a fatal misunderstanding of the Coral P2P cache. Coral only caches the page/file linked through it, not the images, video, etc. on the page. So people going to the page will be able to read what he says about it, but his ADSL connect will still be slammed on all the images (it's slow now... surprisingly not slashdotted yet).

    Also, since Coral doesn't cache links, anybody clicking on his links to look at anything other than the one page linked to by slashdot will further increase the load on his server (or more likely just be disappointed and continue the DoSing of this poor guy's DSL line).
  • On P2P linking... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Black.Shuck ( 704538 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:35PM (#10219039) would be nice to see Slashdot using Coral-links *before* an article goes live, instead of "Oh yeah, whoops... We get a lot of visitors, right? Better quickly edit a P2P link in there before someone notices the new arti..."

    Here's a JavaScript Bookmarklet I made to make Coral-linking a cinch:

    javascript:l=document.location.href;if(l=='about:b lank'){l=prompt('Input a URL to Coralise:','');};if(l!=''){if(\.nyud\.ne t\:8090/)==-1){document.location.href=l.replace(/\ b\/(\b|$)/,'');}else{if(confirm('Yo u are already looking at the Coral-cached version of this page.\n\nVisit the Coral web-site instead?')){document.location.href='http://www.scs';}else{void(0);}}}else{void(0); }

    Put that in your Favorites or Bookmarks -- make sure it is a single line of text, not those multiple-lines. Then just click it when you want to see a cached-version of the page you are currently looking at. Using it on an already cached page will ask you if you want to visit the Coral web-site.

  • mirror (Score:1, Informative)

    by teknickle ( 812501 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:36PM (#10219044) Homepage
    hey, just use the ultimate mirror: google. ego&btnG=Search&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8 I found the articles and pics. Sweet. (I would throw it on my own server, but not ready for getting slashdotted myself).
  • Re:On P2P linking... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Black.Shuck ( 704538 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:45PM (#10219077)

    Oops... There appear to be a few erroneous spaces in that link. Here are the fixes:

    about:b lank

    Should be...


    And this one...

    /\.nyud\.ne t\:8090/

    Should be.../p>


    And this one...


    Should be...
  • Re:Ooh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:51PM (#10219105)
    Actually it looks like you misunderstand how relative URLs work :p

    Most image URLs on sites are relative, which means they don't store the full URL (IE, ""), but instead only the relative path ("myimage.png" or "./myimage.png").

    The hostname is assumed to be the current host, unless that's overridden in the HTML.

    Unfortunately, the creator of this website made the fatal error of using fully qualified URLs instead of relative URLs for his image files. If he were to realize what was going on, I'd imagine he'd immediately make that change.

    So while you're correct in the context of THIS page, in general the Coral P2P cache will cache most images on most sites.
  • Re:On P2P linking... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Black.Shuck ( 704538 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:56PM (#10219122)

    Screw it, it's all messed up.

    I made a page which has the link on it:

    Coral P2P Bookmarklet []

    Coral-linked, of course. ;)

  • Re:On P2P linking... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ashkar ( 319969 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:59PM (#10219132)
    Or if you use firefox, mozilla, etc., Coral has a context menu extension that you can install here [].
  • Plural.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) <> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @12:18AM (#10219192) Homepage
    The plural of "Lego" is, and has always been, "Lego"

    Thank you, and goodnight.
  • Google cache... (Score:5, Informative)

    by llZENll ( 545605 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @12:45AM (#10219274)
    here []
  • Re:Not 3D (Score:2, Informative)

    by Reik ( 101256 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @12:56AM (#10219305) Homepage
    The 3D plastic printer we have at work (granted it's a cheep one), prints exactly like this. The third dimension is simply moving the holding tray down every time it prints a layer.
    Maybe he's going to add this next. Maybe he already has it. I didn't want to joing the sheep in vaporizing his ADSL line.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @12:59AM (#10219313)
    Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats.

    "The lethal dosage of theobromine in dogs is between 250 and 500 mgs/kg, or about 2/3 to 1 1/3 of baking chocolate for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. However, serious non-fatal poisonings have been reported in dogs after eating smaller amounts.

    At our practice, a 20-pound dachshund showed serious signs of poisoning after eating 3/4 of a pound of milk chocolate and another 22-pound dog died after eating two pounds of baking chocolate."

    source: []
  • by rootofevil ( 188401 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:12AM (#10219475) Homepage Journal
    well, if you look at the new cartridges from HP, thats not far off. The 94/95 have decreased substantially in size (but not in price) from the 56/57 cartridges, which made a similar decline from the 15/45/78.

    and all most of you do is bitch about how much lexmark sucks for protecting their revenue stream, while HP is giving it to you and you smile and walk away, blissfully unaware.
  • by twoshortplanks ( 124523 ) * on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:14AM (#10219611) Homepage
    These are some development pictures [] I took of the print head testing. Note at this stage James, Nicholas and Leon were playing with the consistancy of the chocolate and managed to print something that didn't totally look unlike something much more worrying.
  • It's Lego! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Goth Biker Babe ( 311502 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:19AM (#10219620) Homepage Journal
    It's not Legos. It's like sheep. I have one sheep. You have one sheep. We have many sheep. This field is full of sheep. The printer is made of Lego!
  • by god ( 5628 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:33AM (#10219637) Homepage
    And here are some more pictures [] taken by Katrien earlier on in the project. You can see Nicholas (the print head designer) and James (2-axis, software). Oh, and Richard (support). We managed to do this in a three weeks and as we talk James is demoing this at FooCamp2 (assuming he managed to assemble it again). The best bit about this is having the meeting room full of Lego...
  • Actually... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MikeSweetser ( 163852 ) * on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:36AM (#10219645) Homepage's "LEGO bricks" or "LEGO pieces". Not Lego, or Legos, or even LEGO. LEGO pieces/bricks, to review to the company (which should always be capitalized) and the actual objects themselves. This is straight from LEGO (who really wants it as "LEGO® bricks" but you can't have everything :))

  • by mikelang ( 674146 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:06AM (#10219802)
    ...and can be conveniently used:
  • Green & Blacks (Score:3, Informative)

    by nickovs ( 115935 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:15AM (#10219814)
    >Black & Green 75% cocoa, if it means anything to anyone.

    I'm guessing that it means Green and Blacks [] chocolate. G&B make some of the best organic chocolate around in my opinion. I wonder however if they did extensive scientific testing before they settled on the relatively high cocoa content 75% stuff. I think I should apply for research funding to look into this in more detail :-)
  • Plurality (Score:2, Informative)

    by gidds ( 56397 ) <slashdot AT gidds DOT me DOT uk> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:18AM (#10219821) Homepage
    This one's always confused me. Here in the UK, 'Lego' has always been a mass noun; the individual bits of plastic are known as 'Lego bricks' or 'bits of Lego'.

    And yet I keep reading the word 'Legos', which makes no sense here. Is the term officially different in the US, or have you merkins been getting it wrong all the time (unthinkable!)?

  • Re:Actually... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jeppe Utzon ( 721797 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @07:44AM (#10220099) Homepage
    Lego is a contraction of "leg godt" which is danish for "play well"
  • Re:Not 3D (Score:2, Informative)

    by Reik ( 101256 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @09:27AM (#10220344) Homepage
    Well, I don't think $20k for a piece of equipment is really any kind of significant investment for anyone but a small garage company, and we're far from that.
    Technically, it's an FDM machine. Fused Deposition Molding.
    I believe you just dump an IGES file to it....then maybe sometime next year, you'll get your part.
    If you saw how cheap looking and feeling the resultant product is and (as I've already implied) how utterly painfully slow it is then you'd understand why it is cheep.
    We've had it for like 3 years and it was the cheep model then.
    These things have been around for quite a while.


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