'Matrix' model maker 3D-prints sweet figures from sugar

By modifying a 3D printer to work with sugar and water, Julian Sing is able to make figures that look good enough to eat.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

Sing's creations redefine the idea of a sugar cube. Julian Sing

A highlight of Julian Sing's career was getting hired as a model maker in the prop production department for the second and third "Matrix" films ("Reloaded" and "Revolution"). When that gig wrapped, he was told that if he wanted to stay in the model-making business, he should find work as an architectural model maker, which he did.

Fast-forward a few years, and Australian-born Sing finds himself in the Netherlands, where he's pursuing another passion: baking.

"Most in the industry know me for my extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in additive manufacturing," he told Crave. "Fewer know me for my laser-cutting projects, and most don't know that I have developed a love for baking...The truth is I see cake decorating as a form of model making and sculpture."

Combining his love of model making and baking, Sing modified a ZPrinter 310 Plus from 3D Systems to be able to produce creations out of sugar and water. The printouts aren't entirely edible yet because of a secret involved in the process that Sing wouldn't share, but they sure look good enough to eat.

When I asked Sing why he chose to 3D-print in sugar he answered: "Why not? I have been involved with 3D printing for a long time and at the end of last year I got a used printer. Originally I was going to fill it up with standard commercial powder and run a print service. However, due to costs, I looked for alternatives. Sugar is something that struck a chord with me and my sweet tooth."

See if his creations strike a chord with you too in the gallery below.

Sweet! 3D-printed figures made from sugar (pictures)

See all photos