William Kempton, a researcher at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design has created 3D printed gingerbread house. This was made from gingerbread dough printed on a DeltaWASP 20 40 clay 3D printer. It might be the first 3D printed gingerbread house in the world.Why Did Kempton Use Gingerbread Dough Instead of Clay for 3D Printing?
Gingerbread is considered as one of the essential food items associated with the Christmas celebrations. Kempton planned to make a 3D printed gingerbread house this Christmas after getting inspired from new techniques. Kempton has done several 3D printing projects using clay. However, one day his students suggested him to replace clay with gingerbread and he happily agreed with them and set a DeltaWASP 20 40 clay 3D printer for the same.
“While the initial thought seemed simple enough, the first trial with gingerbread printing uncovered some immediate problems,” Kempton wrote. “Firstly, gravity is not your friend. Secondly, materials usually become softer as they get hotter. If you have ever made a gingerbread house, you will probably know that baking flat pieces and gluing them together later is the way to go. This, however, is not how I wanted my gingerbread house to be made. So I needed to develop my own process.”
How did Kempton Make this 3D Printed Gingerbread House?
To make the DeltaWASP 20 40 3D printer suitable for the gingerbread, Kempton equipped it with a Liquid Deposition Modeling (LDM) extruder machine that enabled him to hold and deposit the liquid material. In the starting phase of research, gingerbread used to collapse soon after the printing process. Hence, he used a custom extruder nozzle with a heater to 3D print the material at a fixed temperature.
Kempton revealed that making the gingerbread dough perfect was a challenging task as well as adjusting the 3D printer for printing. He started with a usual gingerbread recipe. For this, he had to make the material harder. So, he added flour and corn starch to the substance. Then, he poured alcohol into the mixture. His 3D printed gingerbread house is actually based on Borgund Kirke – a Norwegian wooden stave church.
The 3D printed gingerbread house is now still in a nascent, experimental stage, and perhaps future gingerbread enthusiasts will want to print their own wonderland of gingerbread architecture, people, and untold imaginary creations while decorating with icing and candies manually,” Kempton said.