3D Printing with Ice Tea Powder and Salt

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.

Above is a pineapple printed in ice tea powder and after the jump you can see the initial ice tea tests and the salt experiments.

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.

Via Open3DP

Once the binder is edible, this will be even more amazing!

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