Tag Archives: candyfab

A Requiem for CandyFab


The CandyFab 4000, 5000, and 6000 were three early DIY 3D printers that we built in the years 2006 through 2009. They worked by using hot air to selectively melt and fuse granulated media, and were capable of producing large, complex objects out of pure sugar, amongst other things.

CandyFab is no longer an active project — it hasn’t been for a few years. But the time has come to retire it officially and document its history. We have taken some time to write an in-depth article about the history of the CandyFab project, the different CandyFab machines, why and how they were built, what they were capable of, and the lessons that we learned in the process. Have a seat; we have a story to tell.

The CandyFab Project: 3D Printing in Sugar. Big, DIY, and on the cheap. 2006 — 2009.
Link: candyfab.org

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories: Year 3

Evil Meggies

Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is now three years old.

To celebrate, we’re rounding up our most interesting projects from this past year.

Quick projects and observations:

Magnet tricks
17 cool magnet tricks

The monetary density of things

Cheap calendar 2
Cheap Perpetual Calendar

Parts Tray-14
Contact Lens Case Small Parts Tray

Simple LED Projects:

lanterns - 11
Quick, easy, temporary, and beautiful LED garden lights

RoboGames Awards (on)
RoboGames Awards

LED Ghostie
LED Ghosties for Halloween

Food Hacking:

Dry Ice Martini
The Hungry Scientist Handbook

Decoder 2
South Indian Restaurant Menu Decoder


"That's no melon!"
“That’s no melon!”

Grillin 2
Hot Dog Bun Grilling Jig

LOLHearts - 34
Improved Custom Message Hearts

Apple Pie
Now that’s an Apple Pie!

Caprese - 16
Eyeball Caprese

Fractal Snowflake Cupcakes - 24
Fractal Snowflake Cupcakes



The CandyFab 6000


Harley Sleeps
Cardboard Cat Chaise

EdgeLitCard - 49
Edge-Lit Holiday Cards

Hex Boxes5
Hexagonal Stacking Boxes

frabjous - 01
Making a Frabjous

Electronics Projects

Interactive LED Dining table
Interactive LED Dining Table Circuit


Color distortion
Giant seven segment displays

DarkPumpkin - 11
Dark detecting jack-o’-lantern

SolarCircuits - 06
Simple Solar Circuits

Soft Circuit Merit Badge14
Soft Circuit Merit Badge

Kit Projects

Meggy Rainbow
Meggy Jr RGB

VideoPeggy - 09
Video Peggy in action

Peggy 2 RGB
Peggy 2 RGB

2313Card - 1
ATtiny2313 breakout boards

Revised ATmegaXX8 boards

Crafty Projects

d12 Bag
DIY d12 Handbag (of Holding)

Meggy Jr RGB Cozy-21
Meggy Cozy

no-sew iPhone cozy14
No-sew iPhone Cozy

fabric klein bottle
Fabric Klein Bottle

Seat recovery
Reupholstery with Used Denim

Missile Command Skirt 24
Missile Command Circle Skirt

Fishbowl cat quilt29
Fishbowl Cat Quilt

Turning Mollie into Maulie

Bicycle lunch bag
Bicycle Frame Lunch Bag

Acrylic Nesting Bracelets-1
Sinusoidal Bracelet Design

Microcontroller Projects

Time exposure
Tennis for Two, a video game from 1958

stockpumpkin - 11
Scariest Jack-o’-Lantern of 2008

mignonette - 09
70 bits of gaming goodness

Serial Port Added
AVR Serial Communication

lissajous-dark - 07
POV Lissajous figures

Mobius Circuit - 21
Single sided circuit board

A Bulbdial Clock

Geek Design

Snowflake generator
Vector Snowflake Application

The Amazon Kindling

Pi (squared) trivet - 9
Pi Pie Trivet

lego - 2
Lego Kitchen Crafts

Binary Birthday
Binary Birthday


RoboGames Awards

RoboGames Awards (on)

We’ve been helping out RoboGames with getting the award designs ready for next weekend. We just got the final prototypes done and handed over for production and we’re loving how they turned out! The awesome official artwork by Doctor Popular (below) features prominently on the medals, lit by throwie-style LEDs hidden between layers of acrylic. You want one of these around your neck, don’t you?

The event runs Friday-Sunday, June 12-14 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Get your tickets now!

We’ll be bringing CandyFab to show off and lots of kits and pretty LEDs for sale. We hope to see lots of you there next weekend!

The CandyFab 6000


Today we are relaunching the CandyFab Project with a new logo and a new wiki site, wiki.candyfab.org.

But more importantly, we are unveiling this new machine, the CandyFab 6000:


It’s a brand new CandyFab– still in beta. A clean break, designed from the ground up with almost no parts in common with the original, the CandyFab 4000. All new mechanics. All new electronics. All new software. Smaller but still big: the build volume is more than 10 liters, but it’s now small enough to fit on a desk top.


Here’s one of the first objects that we fabbed on the CandyFab 6000: a drilled sphere, about two inches in diameter and layer thickness of 1/15 inch. There’s plenty of room for improvement, and finally we have a machine that can be improved.


The machine is designed so that it can be made from scratch– i.e., without dumpster diving for old HP pen plotters. Three axes of quadrature-encoded DC servo motor control. Timing belts and acme lead screws. Food-safe sugar containment. The body is made from laser-cut plywood with acrylic highlights and stainless steel hardware. (Steampunk-compliant brass thumbscrews where appropriate, too.)


The new modular electronics control platform is called Zuccherino— that’s italian for “Sugar cube.” One Arduino-compatible circuit board per axis. (Our prototype above shows X,Y,Z, Heat, and Air axes, plus a master board.)

It’s an expandable system for all kinds of motion control projects, and we’ll be making kit versions of all of the Zuccherino boards later this summer.

We’ve also got new cross platform control software — called CandyFabulous underway, and it’s looking sweet.


And… oh can it fab sugar. In the photo here we’re partway through printing an hollow torus eight inches in diameter.

Where from here? Check out more details at CandyFab Project.

Finally, you can see the CandyFab 6000 first hand– this weekend at Maker Faire! We’ll be showing it off at booth #293, in the Expo Hall.

20 millicenturies of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories


Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is now two years of age. Collected below is a “Best of Evil Mad Scientist” for the past year: Some of our favorite projects that we’ve published over the last twelve months. Here’s to the next year!

Quick projects:

Set of bands
Rubberbands made from old bicycle innertubes.

vertical light tent setup
Light tent made from a lampshade.

Still life with yellow paper (group shot 2)
Chip bugs


Spool spinner from an old fan.

Quick C to D adapter
The $1.00 C to D adapter

Electronics projects

Weekend Projects Podcast!
How to make a Joule Thief from Make: Weekend Projects.

lights off?
How to make a dark-detecting LED night light.

The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk
The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk

Finished 1
How to make a Sawed-off USB Key

AVR microcontroller projects

Using an ADXL330 accelerometer with an AVR microcontroller

Snapper - 09

Kit Projects

AVR Target Boards

Four Panels 2
Interactive Table Kits

Resist1- Wall hanging

Peggy v 2.0

Crafty Projects

Q*bert close-up

vintage software book handbag
Software Handbag

iPod inside
iPod cozy

Earrings 2
Fimo Fractals

Miniature Art Car
Mini Art Cars

New wing
Umbrella Bat Costume v 2.0

Food Hacking

Cooking hotdogs

555 LED flasher 1
Circuitry Snacks

Googly FSM
Edible Googly Eyes

Sierpinski Cookies-11
Fractal Cookies


Sugar Chain
Printing complex shapes: Sugar Chain

Before and after 2
Candyfab improvements: higher resolution and edible output


Usage 3: First operand
Rotary Fraction Adding Machine

toner - 15
Electric Origami

Observations & silly projects:

Cat volume computation
Volume of a cat

Pacman Halloween

Lego Projects:

Lego Shooter
Forbidden Lego review & build

Technic Bits
Efficient Lego Storage


suction tool
Obscure electronics tools

Lee Valley & Veritas catalog
Lee Valley & Veritas Catalog Review


Twisted leads (close-up)
LED Stoplight

All the parts
hp2600n - 178
HP Color LaserJet 2600n

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and CandyFab at MakerFaire!

Attention SF Bay Area folks: Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and CandyFab are coming to Maker Faire! Space-time coordinates: San Mateo, CA, May 3-4, 2008.

We’ll be there in force with (amongst other things) a tabletop BristleBot Arena and great progress to show off on a lot of our upcoming projects: Next generation interactive LED coffee table panels, the debut of Peggy 2.0, and the brand new design for the CandyFab 5000, all of which we’ll be writing much more about this summer. Find us in the south hall, past the Tesla coils.

Great things are coming to Maker Faire, and you can come visit, get a sneak preview and chat.

We’ll sure hope to see you there. Advance tickets are on sale at a discount through Friday April 25.

CandyFab @ Dorkbot: 8/15/07 @ TechShop

symmetric view 2

On Wednesday, August 15 we’ll be giving a presentation about CandyFab at a meeting of Dorkbot SF, our local spinoff of
Dorkbot NYC.

Dorkbot chapters organize monthly talks and events for artists, scientists, and engineers centered around the theme of “the creative use of electricity.”

The meeting will be held at 7:30 PM at TechShop, a San Francisco Bay Area “open-access public workshop,” located just off of 101 in Menlo Park, where you can go use a wide range of tools and machines to make things. We’ll be bringing the CandyFab machine along, and– if everything goes right– demonstrating its use. So if you’re in the SF bay area, this is a great chance to come and take a close look at the CandyFab 4000, smell the caramel, and ask questions. Besides our talk and demo, there will be a couple of shorter presentations on other dorkbot-ish topics, and an introduction to TechShop. (Tours of Techshop will be available at the end of the meeting as well.)

Everyone is welcome to come to the meeting; there is a $5 suggested donation for the venue at the door.

[Link] See you there!

UPDATE: The event was great! (Read more here.)

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 CandyFab.org.

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.