3D Printing Custom Measuring Cups


#1

Hey All,

We’ve been working hard to make the at-home Soylent manufacturing process as efficient as possible. To that end, we designed a few custom measuring cups. Check them out and let us know about your experiences with measuring out odd amounts of ingredients.

Download Here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/soylent/data/soylent-cups.zip

All designs are by Hunter Scott (www.hscott.net), if you haven’t already, definitely read his blog: Could the ancient Romans have build a digital computer?


#2

Since the handle height scales with the height of the cup, wouldn’t it be difficult to grip?


#3

@boogerlad
Good call on the handles.

While I think that it is a cool idea I have a couple of questions:
What material are you using in the 3D printing?
Bacteria resistant?
I know if you use PLA it has a max temp that it can handle, how would that work with washing them. Also I in the group that I 3D print with I haven’t seen or heard of anyone printing utensils to handle food. While I don’t necessarily think there would be an issue I am unsure.
Also depending on the material in your 3D printer what is the durability of being dropped or knocked off of a counter?

With the hard corners and the flat bottom how easy are they going to be to get the powders out of? How hard are they to clean?

As I said it is kind of a cool idea, and I wouldn’t mind having a set. Just wanted to verify some things :slight_smile:


#4

The sizes are 4/3 cups, 4/3 tablespoons, and 5/32 teaspoons, from largest to smallest.

The reason the handles are long is so you can print it without using any support material. The big one isn’t hard to grip, it’s just different. I printed these in ABS on a Lulzbot 3D printer with about 50% infill. You can probably get away with less.

These are NOT bacteria resistant as is. There are lots of little pits and grooves that bacteria could get in. Coating the inside with acetone to smooth it would help, but if you want to be really safe, use a food safe coating.

ABS and PLA are not rated as food safe by anyone, but you also probably won’t die or get poisoned by it. People print cookie cutters and shot glasses and stuff all the time and really the bacteria would be a bigger potential problem. But you probably don’t want to be that guy who has to explain to the toxicologist that a stranger on the internet said it would be fine. The safest way to print these is in a safe material like HDPE or PET, or to correctly coat them. You can also use them as positive molds if you want to use a different process.

How these will fare in heat depends on what you print them out of and if/how you treat them afterwards. The ones in the picture made from ABS (same plastic as Legos) are very sturdy and you’d probably have to stomp on them with boots to break them.

Manufacture and use these at your own risk and be safe.


#5

@hunter
Thanks for the response.

Sorry I got distracted while I was responding the last time. PLA is corn based so it is supposedly biodegradable, but I have not tested that theory yet.
Have you tried printing them upside down so that you don’t have to span for the handle? Then you would only have to span for the bottom, and a little curve to the bottom to help the span may not hurt.


#6

Yeah, I first tried printing them upside down, but the base is too wide for it to really work and the print didn’t turn out very well. Making the bottom curved might work, but then they wouldn’t sit flat on the counter. Feel free to modify the design and experiment yourself though.


#7

If I get a chance I will try to alter the design a bit
.
With the rounding of the bottom I would probably extend the base to where it has a hollow’ish bottom. Meaning for the edges and dead center it would be flat, but use a rounding as it moves from the edge to the center. So you would have a air gap on the bottom as the edges are there to make it sit flat, but the rest of the bottom is rounded. The edges of the benzene would be taller than the actual rounded bottom, except for the dead center of the bottom which I would try to make level.

Holy crap that is hard to explain with words. It probably would have been quicker for me to alter the design. :wink:

Oh and thank you for your effort with this it is pretty cool. I could always wrap them in saran wrap or something to use them, or I would use them for decoration.


#8

I actually understand exactly what you mean haha. That’s a good idea, give it a shot.


#9

Do you mean like this, as a cross section?

|U|


#10

@CuriousBen
That was so not cool. :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah exactly like that. Although I would try to extend the bottom of the U to be in line with the pipes.

That’s just so sad that it was so easy to explain. LOL


#11

Would want them to be food safe and less pitty, but those look like a neat idea. Are they for specific ingredients, or just the commonly required measurements? One possible use for the extra handle area could be to add the names of the ingredients measured with them so you don’t have to keep looking at a list.


#12

I think you are onto something here. I scaled up a cocktail recipe and ended up with measurements like 33/8 oz. No one offered custom measuring cup sizes. It’d be great to be able to order one in any size I wanted.