Additive Manufacturing Strategies

ShareBot’s R&D Discovers how to 3D Print With Sugar on Their Sub-$20,000 SnowWhite SLS 3D Printer

ST Medical Devices

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Gabriele Carloni and Andrea Radaelli

Gabriele Carloni and Andrea Radaelli

Last month, we reported on a new selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer that was coming to market at an astonishing price tag of under $20,000. Sharebot, a company which has been manufacturing 3D printers since 2011 could quite conceivably turn the 3D printing market upside down with this latest 3D printer, called the SnowWhite.

Today, Sharebot has informed 3DPrint.com that their R&D department has made quite the interesting discovery, while tinkering with this new machine.

“While preparing the Birmingham’s TCT Show and Rome’s Maker Faire, our R&D Department developed a way to be able to print with sugar [on the] Sharebot SnowWhite,” explained Claudio Bonfiglioli, of Sharebot srl.

Printed in (left to right) sugar, graphene & nylon

Printed in (left to right) sugar, graphene & nylon

We have heard of 3D printers that are capable of printing in sugar before. The most notable are the ChefJet line that 3D Systems recently acquired, but we haven’t yet seen a 3D printer that is capable of printing with traditional materials using SLS technology, as well as being able to print in sugar products. This is quite revolutionary, and could open up many doors for Sharebot.

Sharebot SnowWhite 3D printer

Sharebot SnowWhite 3D printer

To print with sugar, the SnowWhite 3D printer still uses its normal SLS printing method, taking advantage of its laser to sinter single layers of sugar, one at a time, until a complete object is built up. So now you can add sugar to the ever growing list of materials that this new 3D printer can print with. Some of the other materials able to be used on this machine are graphene and nylon.

While it is doubtful that someone will purchase the Sharebot SnowWhite in place of a 3D Systems’ Chefjet, which runs between $5,000-$10,000, it will give potential clients one more reason to purchase this relatively affordable SLS 3D printer. Typical SLS machines cost in the $150,000+ range, with some approaching $1 million. This is a way for small businesses and even individuals to get their hands on one of the best technologies that are available today within the 3D printing space, while also making some tasty treats.

The Sharebot ShowWhite is expected to be released sometime in early 2015, along with several other new 3D printers from the company.

From left to right. Original part, FFF printed, SLS nylon, SLS graphene

From left to right. Original part, FFF printed, SLS nylon, SLS graphene

What do you think? Do you think that the fact that the Sharebot SnowWhite can print using sugar, will provide customers with yet another reason to purchase this new machine? Discuss in the Sharebot SnowWhite forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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