More unusual material experiments from Open3DP.
While more and more materials are becoming generally available for 3D printing, some brave souls continue to search for as-yet-untried materials, pushing the boundaries of 3D printing.
We recently blogged about the experiments printing in bone from Open3DP, a blog maintained by the Solheim Rapid Prototyping Laboratory at the University of Washington. Since then, they have tried two more unusual materials: salt and ice tea powder.
Before using the ice tea powder to print, it had to be ground into a fine powder using a coffee grinder. The resulting prints are not edible because of the adhesive binder, which is unfortunate since they used delicious mango-flavored tea.
The experiments with salt were for an independent research project initiated by a student outside of the major (fresh ideas are wonderful). Once the salt was ground into a fine powder it produced the best surface finish they have achieved so far. One big advantage of salt is that it is extremely cheap in large quantities, about $4 for 25 lbs.