Re: Zcorp users...
Hi rapid prototypers,
Have any of you Zcorp machine users, come up with a substitute for
Zcorp's plaster-based powder. At $500 for 15 pounds of the stuff it is
eating us alive. Our students here at UCLA Architecture are using our
new/used Z402, 24 hours a day.
Our UCLA Bio Medical Department also has a machine and they are using
ordinary granulated sugar with great success but we would prefer to use
plaster of Paris or something, here in architecture, if we can.
Here is the scoop on the sugar if you are interested. Our biomed students
are using ordinary granulated sugar (the large bags) from Costco.
Powdered sugar is too fine and doesn't work. The granulated is a little
coarse so they run it in an ordinary blender and shake it through a
sieve. They run plain water or ink on it. The print head in a Zcorp Z402
is an ordinary Cannon unit that takes standard cartridges from Office
Depot. ($35 instead of Zcorp's $65) Sometimes they simply run the black
ink that comes in the cartridge. It makes great looking black parts.
Their parts look and feel the same as our plaster parts but their machine
must be kept immaculate or it will gum up.
Their use for these parts is really incredible. When a person has lost a
part of a bone or cartilage they digitize the cavity and model a piece to
fit. They then take T cells from the patient's marrow, etc., and
incubate them on the sugar part. The sugar part has a porous lattice, so
the cells permeate the entire thing. After incubation, they wash out the
sugar and have a beautiful bone piece to implant.
Kirk Alcond, UCLA Architecture, Shop Supervisor,
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: Sat Jan 17 2004 - 15:17:00 EET