Baricuda Extruder for 3D Printing Sugar and Chocolate

by jmil, published

Baricuda Extruder for 3D Printing Sugar and Chocolate by jmil Jul 6, 2012

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Introducing the Baricuda Extruder for 3D Printing Sugar and Chocolate

Derived from the venerable MakerBot MK2 Frostruder, this air-pressure driven extruder ("baric") is a Universal extruder because it adds a Degree Amplifier (yep... temperature) to let you extrude anything.

The Source Code and Files are Hosted on Github:

We used this to precisely extruder sugar templates for engineering vascular tissues for regenerative medicine research. See the details here:

You can use it for:
1) Molten Sugar Extrusion
2) Molten Chocolate Extrusion
3) Molten PLA and ABS and other experimental plastics Extrusion
3) Molten Extrusion -- This is a Universal Extruder! Any thermoplastic material can be extruded.

You are only limited by your motherboard and the number of MOSFETs you have (for control of pneumatics just like the Frostruder).

Operation is IDENTICAL to the Frostruder, you just need to add a heating element and thermistor for temperature measurement.


UPDATE 2: HOW-TO ASSEMBLE Visual instructions posted on my flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157631469935204/

UPDATE: My Z-idler files are now posted at the request of bill20r3.

NOTE: Sugar and Chocolate precision extrusion should be controlled NOT by precision of air pressure (which is hard) but instead by precision of temperature (which is easy). Temperature controls viscosity which controls extrusion rate at a given temperature.

The temperature to use depends on the material properties of your extrudate (read: the sugar). But you want around 100 ºC extrusion for this type of sugar glass you can make at home (you DON'T need the cream of tartar):

Chocolate is just as easy -- but don't use water! Chocolate and water don't mix.RepRap does not support such a large extruder by default. You may need to first 3D print the additional Mendel vertices to widen the top of the Mendel so you can fit this extruder in there easily.

  1. Get a Frostruder MK2 (you need the rubber stopper, tubing, and pneumatic solenoids)
  2. Lasercut these new parts out of 1/4" MDF or other RIGID wood. It has to be really really stiff.
  3. 3D print the RepRap holder for the extruder
  4. Get the bolts, nuts, washers, and aluminum standoffs you need. I recommend locking nuts so that the fitting is tight.
  5. Assemble and WIN!

NOTE: There's no BOM because it will depend on the thickness of the material you laser cut. I used 1/4" MDF and 50 mm screws with 25 mm aluminum standoffs. You should be able to figure it out by looking at the images in this Thing.

But the idea is you take the stopper clamp and top clamp and put the glass syringe in (I use Air-Tite.com). Then you wrap in foil and then wrap in nichrome and affix your thermistor. Then you put the stand-offs in and get the spacing you want with one or more spacer clamps. Then you should be all set.

I use one stopper clamp, one top clamp, one spacer clamp, and one bottom clamp.

The bottom clamp has the holes that affix it to the x-carriage on the RepRap. If you use 1/4" MDF it will be stiff enough to support the entire BariCUDA Extruder even while extruding. We have been using this design for more than a year and half with no problems.


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How did you dissolve the sugar after placing the cell culture around it?

I'd love to make one of these. Is it possible even though MakerBot's Frostruder is discontinued?

I discovered that, "Rice Paper Sheets" make a excellent printing medium that retains edibility after printing and the sheets and prints are easily removable from a heated bed; I assume it would be food safe food items vs kapton or non food-grade glass (they make spring rolls from the particular sheets I have and objects can be removed with H20 or another solvent that is suitable for your print material), These print sheets could be combined with this extruder for some really nice creations. I will be building this extruder and testing sugar and chocolate prints on the rice paper ASAP. Thx for posting this it should prove a indispensable tool for my research.

anyone know where a ready made extruder can be purchased?

So, the thing about this is that the Frostruder has been discontinued.

I'm new to 3D printing, and I have no idea what a MOSFET is (or realistically half of the other terms you used).

Basically, my point is, I have no idea what to do with this project. I know you print the parts out that you've provided. Beyond that, how do I go about setting this up and using it?

This is listed as CC-BY-SA here, but the github http://README.mdREADME.md lists it as CC-BY-NC-SA. Are they intended to be different?

Hey Branko,

It was great talking via Skype, lemme know if you have any more questions.


hi Jordan ,

Congratulations with your novel vascularization technique. Two days ago I read the Nature article , the link was posted at :

I'm working as bioinformatics for Toxicogenetics group in LUMC , Netherlands , and would like to replicate
your experiment.
I guess hepatocytes are most interesting for our group. My boss just came from vacations and I'll talk to him next week about this.

Anyhow, I have some questions regarding the article and would surely have Qs down the replicatio
n road .
So would you be kind to send me your email adr (or any other comm. tool gtalk/skype ... )
at [email protected] ?

All the best ,

Can you tell me what size glass syringe you use? How much nichrome wire did you wrap around the syringe? A BOM for your setup would be very helpful, I know it depends on the thickness of material like you say, but it would be great to see what you use and go from there.

50 mL syringe, 3 ohm nichrome

Very cool! Do you think wax can be printed with this (for lost wax casting)? I am guessing so.

Between this and Mars rovers with skycranes I am mildly offended that they still have programming time to waste on the Olympics.

Seeing this in action last Saturday was AWESOME.

I was trying to explain 3D printing to a friend, and it was not making any sense to them. Now throw in the phrase, "...with special attachments, you can print candy bunnies, or blood vessels for growing a new liver in a petri dish. "

BOOM their head explodes.

haha that's awesome, thanks!

There's always this YouTube video of it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VHFlwJQIkEhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?...