From Fab @ Home

Jump to: navigation, search


Mini Torch

The mini torch uses Wickes white and clear silicon. It also uses conductive paste and embeds an purple LED and 2 lithium batteries during the build.


DC Electric Motor

The aim was to get as close to producing a simple electric motor as possible but this result still embeds four components after the build reliance first capital process.


Personalised Key Fobs

Using [Wickes Bathroom Silicon Sealant]a perosnalised key fob was manufactured. RMRG stands for Rapid Manufacturing Research Group.

A second key fob was manufactured from [Primula Squezzy Cheese] though it broke after curing. It is suggested that this may be a useful support material for internal geometries


Propeller version 2

Using a 2-syringe system with FabEpoxy as the structural material and Easy Squeeze Frosting as the support material, we have made another propeller. This was done in about 2 hours using lower resolution (green tips).


Hors d'Oeuvres

We have of course demonstrated printing with food before; here we kicked it up a notch, by making use of a 2-Syringe system. 11:37, 12 October 2007 (EDT)


Embedded Circuits

Here's an extension on the flashlight work performed by Evan, found below. By printing the conductive silicone into regular silicone, we were able to produce objects that have fully functional circuits included inside. Follow this link to find more information.

iPod Skin

Here's a more significant demonstration of the use of cake frosting as a support material. This is a silicone skin for an iPod Photo (which I happen to own). I designed the skin off of a SolidWorks iPod model I found online. The skin is 2mm thick, and has access holes for the data connector, lock switch, headphone jack, as well as for the scroll wheel and screen. The support structure is both underneath (to allow some rounding of the corners of the skin) and inside (to hold up the top surface and the access holes). I tried using PlayDoh as the support, but found that moisture (or more likely some oily ingredient) seems to inhibit curing of the portions of the silicone that are completely embedded in support material. I then tried with EasySqueeze cake frosting, and found the same problem. It may be that the support material is simply blocking air flow to the silicone - with the majority of the support material removed, the silicone does eventually cure. For my 3rd try, I decided to carefully remove the support before trying to remove the skin from the waxed paper. This approach works, but the silicone still requires a week to firm up. Definitely need an alternative support material for this approach.



Recently, Dan Periard has been experimenting with printing electrical circuits with conductive silicone and conductive ink, while Evan Malone has been testing out epoxy as a structural material. Meanwhile, the Fab@Home Project has had the great honor of being included in an upcoming exhibition Plasticity - 100 years of making plastics at the Science Museum London, starting May 22nd, 2007. We have put together a Model 1 for the museum to display, which will be added to their permanent collection, and also needed to provide a sample of the Model 1's capabilities. Since this is for posterity, we racked our brains a bit, pulled out all of the stops, and came up with what you see below: an LED flashlight which combines printed silicone, printed conductive silicone, printed epoxy, and cast epoxy materials; Dan's printable electrical switch and flap-door inventions; an embedded LED (ultra-bright orange) as the light source; commercial AA batteries which can be dropped in via the back end; and a rugged, yet handsome and comfortable rubber over epoxy body. The whole thing was printed in 2 steps: Step 1 (~8 hours) was to print the the entire body with embedded LED, conductive contacts, switch, and endcap, and Step 2 (~30 minutes) was to link the endcap to the LED by printing and embedding a conductive silicone circuit. We developed a few neat techniques that allowed us to achieve all of this; we'll try to document these on the techniques page in the near future.



Flashlight300X.wmv, (32MB .WMV); A movie of the LED flashlight being printed and demonstrated, accelerated 300X (total elapsed time, 8h 8min)

Silicone Pastry Molds

Here are some simple molds created out of silicone, and the muffins that resulted! The silicone says that it can handle up to 400F, so I baked these muffins at 350F (the package says 400). No, I haven't tried eating them, they kind of smell like silicone, so I'm not sure how healthy they'd be.

Frosting as Support Material

Here we used normal frosting (same as below, albeit a different color) to act as a support material for various silicone objects. By creating an individual part for each material, we could have the Fab@Home print the frosting first, then lay the silicone down afterward.

Silicone Bridge

The first attempt at support materials: this is simply a silicone bridge sitting on top of a block of frosting.


Second attempt at supports - this involves building a silicone shape completely supported by the frosting. Yes, this particular shape could have been printed upside-down, but it's way cooler to do it this way.

Bouncy Ball/Sphere

Third, and most glorious, attempt - Printing a silicone sphere!

Epoxy Propeller

Here we used the Fab@Home to produce a silicone rubber mold for a 7.5" diameter propeller suitable for an RC airplane or a rubber-band powered balsa plane. We manually filled the mold with epoxy while it was being fabbed so that overhanging parts of the mold would not cave in. The mold did not release cleanly from the epoxy, and the propeller needed some manual clean up with a Dremel to remove adhering silicone and some rough edges. In the end, the propeller really works, as can be seen in the video, where we tested it as a "hand powered helicopter" toy.



PropellerMovie.mpg, (35MB Hi-res); A movie of Evan testing out the epoxy propeller as part of a toy Requires Windows Media Player 11

Lego Car Tire


House of Cheese


Other Cheesy Images

Silicone Watchband with Embedded Watch




Crayola Cake Icing


Betty Crocker Easy Squeeze Frosting

Easily the best-tasting bunch of models... Hopefully we can print a cookie, then bake it, then frost it, all on the Fab@Home machine (minus the baking, I suppose).


Box in Cylinder

This demonstrates the multiple material capability of the Model 1, and a neat feature of "fabbing" - it is possible to make one object (in this case a brown box) completely enclosed inside of another object (in this case a transparent cylinder). This would be very difficult to make any other way.


Chocolate Structures (edible)



Chocolate1.mpg, 2.1MB Movie of Printing a Chocolate Bar

Chocolate2.mpg, 5.2MB Movie of Printing a Chocolate Bar

Chocolate3.mpg, 7.2MB Movie of Printing a Chocolate Bar

Chocolate4.mpg, 40.6 MB Movie of Printing a Chocolate Bar

Silicone Squeeze Bulb



Personal tools