Mixing colours 1st try

What a boring 1-color printing life. Le’ts try messing it up with some colours. Few printers has the ability to print with several material but most of them just use different heads for that matter. In today’s experiment we are mixing colours. There is a genius  section about mixing food at Caleb Millen master thesis (recommended reading).


Fig. Mixing nozzle prototype

Shall we start exploding things?

The idea is simple. Connect several different reservoirs with food, colours, flavours, aromas, textures, consistencies,… mmmmm… whatever; mix them all together and extrude it through one single nozzle.

For this test we used syringes as reservoirs, compressed air and hand power as a extruding force and static mixing nozzles as a mixing element.


Fig. Static mixer body and spiral mixer by Nordson


Fig. Static mixing nozzle by Nordson

@3DC-HQ we have syringes, an air compressor, static mixing nozzles and food. We are just missing the element that connect them all. For this special connectors we went through several designs iteration.


Fig. Syringe-nozzle connector iteration

#1st try teach us how important is to have a nice fit between all parts, in order to avoid leaking issues… more specifically we had potato purée leaking issues.


#2nd try had better dimensions. And the connectors for the syringes had a small thread for the luer-lock connections. With this was enough to to the first positive tests.


For the experiments, air compressed is used to extrude the big syringe full of potato purée. And a small syringe full of water mixed with red colorant is extrude by hand. The glue dispenser used to control the air pressure has a on/off ring-switch that come in handy  to activate the dispenser.


We learn the dirty way that the hand powered syringe need quite a few amount of pressure to balance the pushing force from the biggest syringe. (IT IS NOT BLOOD)


To see better the mixing results please watch the following video.

As a conclusion, mixing colors is possible. Getting different mixing ratios as well. Controlling everything together too. But this last one might be a little bit tricky.

Do you think we should keep experimenting with this? Let us know your opinion.

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