July 20, 2015 | By Simon

While it’s safe to say that by now we’ve seen a fairly wide array of what’s possible when it comes to 3D printing, most people would likely never guess that they can now add ‘oven’ to that list now, too.  

In an effort to challenge designers and engineers to think differently about the way products are designed and manufactured, Studio Fathom has created an innovative new take on the modern convection oven that they’re calling the Pyra.  

The oven, which is built entirely out of engineering-grade plastics, was designed to combine the versatility of fused deposition modeling 3D printing with advanced cloud-based intelligence in an effort to combine the best qualities of 3D printing and the Internet of Things.  The name of the oven - Pyra - refers to both the pyramid shape and the Greek word “pyro,” which means “fire”.  To fabricate the oven, the studio used a Fortus 900mc, which is the only 3D printing system in the world that supports the food-safe ULTEM 1010 material.       

To cook food, the flameless oven utilizes forced air convection from conductive metal plates to evenly heat the cooking enclosure with uniform temperatures of up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of their thermal chamber, Studio Fathom recently printed the Pyra using Stratasys’ new NSF 51 food-contact certified 3D printing material and subsequently slow cooked a dry-rubbed cut of beef. 

Although the studio was successfully able to cook the delicious cut of beef, the Pyra was in fact designed for cell culture incubation and other scientific purposes rather than culinary.   

According to the studio, the Pyra epitomizes FATHOM’s goal of making the unmakeable; the design wouldn’t be possible to fabricate without additive manufacturing, which is the result of five years of development by Carlo Quiñonez, FATHOM’s Director of Research.

“My big vision with this project is to enable community-driven development of the tools scientists use in the lab,” said Quiñonez in an interview with Autodesk. The design team used Autodesk’s Fusion 360 CAD software to realize the design of the Pyra.   

“The plan is to make the thermal chamber designs open-source so anyone can download, customize, and 3D print their own versions.”

While the physical design can be customized to suit the needs of multiple industries ranging from lab experiments to baking cupcakes, it is not the only feature of the oven that can be customized by the end user.  Since the oven can be controlled using a web application, the app itself can also be customized for a variety of purposes, too.   

“In a larger sense, the device serves as a glimpse into the future of how products will be designed, manufactured, and used on both consumer and commercial levels,” said the studio.   “FATHOM is elated to be a part of this future by making the unmakeable and sharing innovative applications at the forefront of the manufacturing industry.”

Needless to say, the studio certainly succeeded in producing a design that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with additive manufacturing - while also managing to cook themselves dinner, too!

“I hope this design inspires designers and engineers to challenge the way they think about product design and manufacturing,” added Quiñonez.

“Every day, the FATHOM team is pushing the boundaries of what is possible for industry-leading companies across the country. Professionals needs to rethink their approach because remarkable efficiencies can be achieved like never before.”

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

 

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