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Liquid Dispensing

Liquid Dispensing

Postby psenn91 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:51 pm


I am a prospective user, and so, let me begin by saying I have limited experience with 3-D carving in general; please take mercy on my ignorance.

I recently joined a startup in SF looking to produce high volumes of molded candies. Essentially, we want to automate the injection of a warm candy fluid into thousands of smaller candy molds, since right now we're doing them by hand, which desperately needs to change.

I was attracted to this site because of its high accuracy movement and part adjustability, as well as what looks like flexible software. What I want to do is essentially replace the spindle mount with a mountable high-viscosity pneumatic fluid dispenser. The molds are all held in the same plane, and so the injector would really just need to move up and down a few centimeters between the molds, and then horizontally across a grid for the dispenser to inject.

Looking at the software, it seems like it could still be used to achieve this pattern pretty easily, though instead of a mounted spindle, it would use a mounted fluid injector. I came here as one of my options because relative to 3-d printers, this seems like a more affordable option with a pretty good history of part and product troubleshooting. We're a small company with very limited funding, so creative solutions are needed.

If this sounds possible, or you have any advice or suggestions, I would be happy to hear them.
Thanks all!

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Re: Liquid Dispensing

Postby Awesomeness » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:15 am

I think that should be rather straightforward and easy to do, relative to instead building a cutting machine. Mach3/Mach4 can control several axes simultaneously, so you could certainly mount a candy extruder onto the z-axis, and have a 4th "A axis" that extrudes the candy. The secret is that, while they vary in strength and rigidity, most computer controlled machines (e.g. 3D printers, milling machines, printing plotters, vinyl cutters, etc.) follow the same basic design principles and use similar drive electronics setups.

I'm a mechanical engineer professionally, and I've actually designed some [unrelated] candy making equipment before. One thing they required was that everything be made from materials impervious to growing microorganisms, and easily sanitizable. So stainless steel, HDPE, etc. Would you be wanting to try to make a machine out of materials like that?
If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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