We here at PopSci are cracy about 3-D printers, and Maker Faire was flush with plenty of implementations of this amazing developing technology. The project we featured in June, Fab@Home, had its open-source 3-D printer cranking out delicious computer-generated prototypes in cake icing:
Also filed under the "delicious 3-D printing" category was the Evil Mad Scientist Labs's CandyFab 4000, which makes its 3-D prints in sugar. A jet of hot air warms a bed of sugar one pixel at a time. Once a 2-D layer is complete, another layer of sugar is piled on and the process repeats, with each layer of sugar fusing to the next until some truly amazing sculptures are birthed:
A fresh layer of sugar gets printed.
The folks at TechShop—a supercool Bay Area group that gives its members open access to a ton of high-powered tools—had an industrial-grade ABS plastic 3-D printer going in their booth. This one was making a salt shaker, complete with a threaded screw-top lid:
And finally, Bathesba Grossman is an amazing artist using 3-D printers that work in metal to generate complex geometric forms. Some of the forms, consisting of intricately interlocking bands of polished metal, would be impossible to make without a 3-D printer and a computer. —John Mahoney