3D Printing, 3D Printing Materials

3D Printing Food Safe Holiday Cookie Cutters

By Rich Annino on December 19, 2017

3D printing is a process that embraces the production of unique, customized, short-run parts. During the holiday season, I can think of nothing better to take advantage of this concept than by designing some interesting TriMech and Stratasys themed cookie cutters in SOLIDWORKS and then printing them out using the food-contact safe ULTEM 1010 CG material.

Step 1: Design

When designing the cookie cutters in SOLIDWORKS, my general rule of thumb was that the thinnest feature I could make in a single contour would be 0.020” in width, and I should create a positive draft angle from the edge of the cutting walls to the base. From there, I added a thin base for better grip (roughly 4 mm thick, printed with a semi-hollow interior) and made sure to add fillets wherever possible to ensure good part strength.

SOLIDWORKS TriMech Tree Cutter

Step 2: Printing 

3D Printed Cookie Cutters with ULTEM 1010

As I mentioned, we used ULTEM 1010 CG, since the certified grade variant of ULTEM 1010 is rated for both high heat applications, high chemical resistance, but most importantly for food safe contact. Outside of the many aerospace applications for this material, ULTEM 1010 is also often used by large restaurant chains for applications where food needs to be covered while heat is being applied. While this is usually done with ULTEM that’s been cut down to shape using traditional subtractive manufacturing, our ULTEM 1010 CG is safe to do similar work. This is why I had no problem with the idea of printing these parts and using them like a normal cookie cutter after cleaning them off like any new cooking utensil.

Step 3: Testing our Rapid Prototype Cookies

ULTEM 1010 Cookie Cutter

The entire process of printing our cookie cutters, testing them out, some re-designing and reprinting them is a great example of how our Stratasys 3D printers can assist in speeding up the design cycle of a prototype product.

Christmas Tree With TriMech Logo Cookie Cutter

During our testing, we had one cookie cutter preform far better than the other two, which was our “TriMech Logo on a Christmas Tree” shape. This cookie cutter was designed to cut out the shape of a Christmas tree and to deboss our three bar logo into the center of the tree, which would make it easier to decorate later.

TriMech Lettering Cookie Cutter

TriMech Cookie Cutter

While the tree cookie cutters worked right away without any tweaking, our “TriMech” lettering cutter required a bit of reworking, mostly due to the original design causing dough to get stuck in the cutter. We tested several revisions of the part within the span of a few hours (print time per part was on average 45 minutes). Ultimately, we decided that outside of making the lettering much larger, we would need to focus on debossing the lettering into the dough slightly and cutting a frame out to box the letters in.  In the end, we decided to use the third revision of the design to also imprint the “TriMech” lettering into the icing and sprinkles on this cookie to allow us to see where to fill the toppings in with blue icing.

Stratasys Cookie Cutter

TriMech Tree Cookie Cutter Our Stratasys “S” design worked fairly well also, although in future revisions we would most likely design in some features to allow us to pull the shape out of the cutter better. We were at about 50% on attempts to remove the cut dough.

Conclusion

Using icing, sprinkles, candies and other sugary treats, we had a great time making some fun holiday treats. For those that have access to a Fortus 450mc, 900mc, or 400mc and ULTEM 1010 CG, I’d highly recommend creating some fun designs in your CAD software and making some unique cookie cutters of your own this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

TriMech ULTEM 1010 Cookies

*A special thanks to Niki Mangino and Morgan Schwartz for staying up late and making some great cookies using our fun cookie cutters!

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