3D Printers

Sugar Lab — 3D Printing Just Got Sweeter

Have you ever seen a 3D printed artifact and thought, “Hell, that looks good enough to eat!”, only to find that it’s made of indigestible ABS plastic? Husband and wife team Kyle and Liz has solved this problem with their sugar-based 3D printing firm, the Sugar Lab.

Kyle and Liz, originally a pair of architectural designers, developed Sugar Lab when trying to 3D print a cake for a friend’s birthday. Though they did not end up with a 3D-printed cake, the duo did print a cupcake topper that spelled out the birthday girl’s name in a 3D-printed, sugar-based script. And Sugar Lab was born, along with their elegant and sugary designs. Their work is custom, tailored to whatever confection concoction you might have in mind and, with their backgrounds in architecture, Kyle and Liz can whip up even the most complex of geometric shapes.

The East Los Angeles firm does not disclose their printing method on their website, but, based on other methods of food printing, it’s that they are using an FFF printer or something like an SLS machine. With an FFF printer, a sugar paste would have to be extruded from a modified nozzle. An SLS method might rely on – at least in the case of the CandyFab sugar printer – heating together the selected bits of sugar with a hot air gun the way a laser in SLS machines fuses together bits if powder.

Whatever their method of construction, there are endless possibilities with this project. If they are able to, one day, perfect cake printing, I can imagine octahedral desserts with chocolate drizzled along every lattice, inside and out. Of course, with every technology, there are downsides. Kyle and Liz may have beneficent intentions now, but if they become corrupted with candy power, all German children should beware of any gingerbread houses they happen across in the middle of a forest.

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