RE: Zcorp users...

From: Charles Overy (
Date: Thu Jan 09 2003 - 01:16:05 EET


No solution to the powder problem but I would love to see/hear more about
how your students are using the machine.
Particularly, I would be interested to learn what software the students are
using to generate good .stl from architectural CAD. LGM is one of a few
commercial architectural model shops that are using the Z corp machinery but
we find that really we have to "draw to the machine" for most of our
projects. However we are working on this problem!

Also you may want to try one of these sifters:


We have just started using it and have decided,
"It makes sifting almost fun"



Sorry to the purist about the HTML mail. I caved....
  -----Original Message-----
  From: []On Behalf
Of kirk
  Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 3:11 PM
  To: Rapid Prototyping Electronic Mailing List
  Subject: 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.

  z Kirk
  Kirk Alcond, UCLA Architecture, Shop Supervisor,
  Phone: 310-825-1626


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