Printing complex shapes: A sugar chain

Sugar Chain We made this chain of twelve giant links on the CandyFab 4000 to demonstrate the fabrication of a complex object, the sort that is difficult to make by conventional machining processes. You can see the 3D model and some build pictures for this monstrosity over at

This object also highlights the relatively large build envelope of the CandyFab– significantly larger than that of most other low end (i.e., under $50k) 3D fabrication systems.

PS for Chemistry geeks: insert joke about long-chain hydrocarbons here.


7 thoughts on “Printing complex shapes: A sugar chain

  1. Wow, fabbed objects are stronger than I would have expected. What material would you compare it to in strength?

    1. It’s pure fused sugar, which you’ve probably encountered in a few forms. In the best areas it’s almost exactly like rock candy. However, the melting is not perfectly consistent and there are tiny bubbles and areas of nonuniform fusion between the layers, so the density is probably ~10% lower than that of bulk fused sugar. Overall, the strength is probably somewhere between that of rock candy and that of a (thick) candy cane… you can certainly break it if you try.

      Windell H. Oskay

  2. amazing. that is very impressive. where are you wanting to go with this machine? what are you plans?

    1. We’re trying to work towards an open-source design of the machine, so that everyone can build one. At the same time, we’re trying to push for higher resolution, precision, speed, and volume, as well as a larger variety of materials that can be printed.

      Windell H. Oskay

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