1.30h to puree the chickpeas + half a lemon, sieve it and load the capsule. 570gr checkpeas = 1.5 cartridges.
1h to get the right airflow.
Molds are easy to create. Candy melt is too thick. Agar agar might be cooled otherwise melts the chickpea.
A water issue or heating issue?
After testing with water, wall thickness of 2 mm can not hold. Until here we have been using Curves with just one perimeter. Pumping up the air pressure we could manage to get thicker walls but seems not enough.
Using 8mm walls, and pouring water into them gave us around 4 minutes window to hold the shape before it collapsed. We tested with plain water. Some chickpea from the walls gets “melts” and gets into the water during the process, weird way to do chickpea infusion 😉
Casting is a really cool manufacturing/rapid prototyping technique where molten material is poured into a mould. Once the material solidifies the original is released. The mould is normally destructed in the release process and not reused.
In our new set of experiments we decided to give a try to chickpea purée as a casting mould material. The pros for chickpea purée is that is cheap, easy to print (if the right precaution are taken) and has enough consistency to print high enough 3d structures that allow us to get bigger moulds. worthy to try, right?
So the ideal process goes like:
Prepare the design we want to cast (software)
Create a mould design based on the previous point design (software)
Print the mould design using chickpea purée
Pour into the mould the material we want for our original design
Clean casting mould and release the design
We do still have some questions in some the previous points, but that is what experiments are! to get answers.
From all the ingredients butter is the one with lower melting point. And might be the reason why the cookie collapse. Probably not the only one. But the first that affects before the egg protein start tangling together giving more structural support, not sure if its enough, though. So first we are going to test a batch of cookies without butter.
Butter is approximately 16-17% water. Trying to balance the lack of butter’s water we are going to add a whole egg. Hoping the extra egg protein coagulation also helps holding the shape.
Confectionary sugar 84gr, 1 egg (57gr), flour 200gr, vanilla extract and salt 2gr.
To add extra toughness we are using bread making flour, hopefully the extra gluten will help too holding the shape. Also we are adding salt to strength the gluten network.
Ok. Lets prepare the dough and see the consistency.
After mixing for over 6 minutes the dough does not hold together (crumbles). Since we want to play safe instead of adding water, we are going to add and extra egg.
After the second egg the dough is too soft. Going to add flour one spoon at a time to get the right consistency. 5 spoons later the consistency is better. The dough is elastic but pretty hard.
Setting up to 6 bars the pressure, the extruder can not handle it at enough speed. TOO HARD. We frozen some samples and deepfried one of them it hold its shape properly. Taste more like a dense sweet bread. Another recipe would be needed to test this.
Even if the dough was to thick to print, we manually prepared some cookies to test the results in the oven.
First try. 180ºC for almost 20 minutes untils it was brown outside.
Second try. 200ºC for 20 minutes. This one is more obvious that has collapsed, but did not had a complete base.
Second cookie result
To us it feels almost like bread, with tough crust but with the sugar sweetness. Maybe we should try some bread. Maybe we sould try some breadsticks instead?
Another fail day and one day closer to the solution! More experiments coming soon!
Fourth day for our agar agar tests. We are back after designing some modifications to have a decent heated syringe and nozzle. Hopefully this gives better results after day #3 disaster.
We are using a common 3d printing heated block, with a convenient air fit connector that has both threaded sides magically equal to our cartridge and heated block ODs.
heating block nozzle
Today we have two goals. First one test if the heated nozzle is enough to avoid clogging issues. Thus test to print a basic cylinder shape. To validate if the new heating design works we are going to run two tests. First load the cartridge with agar agar and see if after 30 minutes the tip is clogged or not. Later run an stalactite test. An hour dripping.
For this test we are using our first day#1 recipe: 100gr of water 2gr of Agar agar. Heating the capsule at 55ºC.
First thing we wanted to try was to hold the liquid into the hot extruder. FAAAAAAAAAAIL. the liquid keeps running without any external force. Their might be some air leakage somewhere. Or maybe the nozzle is not properly screwed to the cartridge body.
Agar agar day 4 test
After the first experiment success we are going to run some sealing tests. Filling some cartridges to probe that water should not flow through an open nozzle. This is a similar experiment to the upside down glass of water. Definitely there is something wrong with the nozzle sealant. After tighten it, it stops dripping. Finally some good news.
After the previous issues, we tested to run a basic print with awful results. Controlling the flow with AE is extremely inaccurate, specially for low viscosities. We decided to stop the experiments and pursue a better hardware control for extrusion.
Awful agar agar print
Agar agar is a cool material to experiment with. Adding temperature to work with it is pretty interesting too. But not having the right hardware to follow the experiments makes it pretty difficult. For that we will keep this experiments on-hold until we got a decent extruder tech that permits having a constant flow. Luckily we will be back to play with hydrocolloids sooner than later.
After our first attempt at deep frying printing cookies using batter, we wanted to give it a bigger shot and test a little bit more this post processing cooking technique.
arrow cookie test
arrow cookie test result
We wanted to test a more diverse set of shapes to observe how the hot oil bath affected to them. First we did double check that the batter was the mix that avoid cookies melting. Easy test no batter = melted, with batter holds the shape.
Even if the cookie has been battered any crack of the overlaid batter during the deep fried process might allow the inside of the cookie to scape (melting and leaking) before cooking. That is why with some of the tests ended up with a cookie-batter shell for some parts of the print.
Another important point is that the shape swims freely, thus is hard to keep accuracy (+/- mm) because the bath deforms the print. This is quite obvious in the next pictures.
Oval shape test
Oval shape test result
In the previous pictures is observed how the oval shapes turns into a flatten circle. For this test the cookie was put in the oil and let it swim freely. Our guess, the water boiling from the cookie surface pushes and forces the cookie to move and deform.
To solve that first we tried a dipping the cookie using a wood stick. Forcing the cookie to stay “still” during its bath.
stick test result
We got some better results, meaning not getting a flattened design. After that we tried using a spatula. And finally a deep fryer wire basket (best one). The square shape and the arrow were deep fried using the wire basket. Results were much better specially for the arrow.
square test support
3D printed frozen cookie dipped into batter and deep fried works. We are not going to say is the best digital cooking technique, due to lack of control, consistency and accuracy for the prints. But still is better than flat cookies ;).
Despite the general opinion we do not think deep fried cookies taste bad, they have a crumbly texture, with a crunchy outside. Obviously the type of oil, temperature and how dirty it is has a major IMPACT.
at 3DC we are committed to get a 3d printed cookie recipe that can be baked, so we will proceed on that line even though is try new things.
We had one frozen cookie left from the first batch. So we decided to give another try to the deep frying technique. Although this time before deep frying we soak the cookie in a batter mix (cold water and potato starch).
Second day of our agar agar printing tests. Today we are going to try two things. First printing directly with the compressed air extruder and secondly to heat up the syringe and see whether the nozzle gets clogged or not.
Collabos are great. Collabos with great people are DOUBLE great! This is the story behind the first day sharing printing and ceramics ideas with the folks from Bussoga.
Printed porcelain decoration
Disclaimer. IF you do not know who Bussoga is, they are the masterminds behind all the awesome tiles that we have been using as dishes for the pasts few months.
You might seen the pictures from the roadtrip, here is how our workspace look right before starting our day. Bussoga‘s HQ are awesome!!!
Our first goal was to set up the printer, after some minor issues (losing our end-effector at the train station) we were all set to start the tests.
During the day mainly we tested two types of materials. White clay and porcelain. Probably the coolest lesson learned during the day was how to start working to get the right consistency for each one of them (still lots to learn yet, but gotta start somewhere :)). Also how to link consistencies with the printing parameters (speeds, nozzle sizes, designs,…).
Here you can see Josep from Bussoga getting the porcelain mix right. It took us a couple of attempts to get the “right” consistency. Porcelain allowed to use small nozzle diameter (1.5mm) but without a hard consistency we could get tall prints.
Josep mixing porcelain
This design is from Irina from Bussoga and it is our favourite print of the day. Worth to say it was painfully designed with Curv3s (undo feature request, still pending to implement).
Printed girl face
During all day we jumped from porcelain to clay several times. Clay happened to be a harder horse to tame. Through each try (wetting it more) we tested lots of different configurations: speeds, pressures and nozzles. One of my favourite was the ultra big 12mm nozzle prints looks just cute.
Printing clay at big with big nozzle
Closer look the big nozzle prints.
Printed thick layer pots
After some trial and error we got a thinner clay that could be extruded with a 3 to 4mm nozzle. Was hard to get the right consistency. The day was arriving to the end but we managed to print a few attempts.
3d printed cup test
Overall it was a fantastic experience, that we are sure is going to drive into tons of ideas (it is already) and hopefully some more upcoming cool projects?
It is problematic when we visit food stores, specially baking stores, with all the fancy equipment and tons of ingredients we go nuts! Last time we visit one, was inevitable to buy a bag of Wilton Candy Melts just to test some prints with it!
When you buy candy melts they come in handy packages that look like this. Normally the are used for coating, molding or others. But we wanted to test melting temperature and how fast it sets in order to know if we could try some 3d prints.
First we melt some chips, we could not find many resources,… but the internet pointed a decent melting point between 40 and 50ºC. And that was exactly what we needed. Instructions suggest the use of microwave but we went fancy and did a double boiler water bath.
Melting wilton candy
Our first test were to get a sense on how fast it sets. It took almost 5minutes at room temperature (18ºC). That was not cool. But still we proceed for our first print test at really low speed hoping that would help to set the candy.
Printing wilton candy 5mm/s
FAAAAAAAIL. Printing slowly it gives more time to set BUT, the air compressed extruder is not really reliable at low speeds and pressures. Lots of blobs.
Second test was at 35mm/s.
Printing wilton candy 35mm/s
For this one the definition was better, due to the air compressed extruder works better at this ratio (speed/pressure). But the issue was that the candy had no time to set, so we needed a couple of tries (and let the print to rest for some minutes before moving it) otherwise it collapsed.
So it is winter and we needed a better cooling system…so… we used our window!
Printer window set up
We got a drop of 5 degrees between the window and the outside. But results were more or less the same. Window prints:
Wilton candy print
Wilton candy print
This was a fun one-day-experiment. As always, the biggest challenge is to find a proper way to manage heat transfer and evacuation. Not sure if candy melt is the healthiest thing on earth, but has plenty of colors to play with. So definitely once we fix the cooling issue we will give it another try!