While looking for labs supplies at the local restaurant supply store, I passed down the aisle with vinegar and cooking wines.  I started looking at the labels.    Something about this label really caught my eye!

A Gallon of Rice Cooking Wine

Perhaps it was the percentage of alcohol? 12% seems close to our binder mixes.   What about the 1.5% salt content?  I just didn’t know what would happen if one put a little salt into some of our powders.

Would this liquid print?

There is only one way to find out!

Print Bed using Rice Cooking Wine Binder

Let’s pour it in and let the testing begin…    We purged out our previous binder.

At the same time, we went looking on the internet for possible negative reactions of the salt on our various powders (generally issues range from “not an issue” to “could act as accelerator”).

Test Rings printed with Rice Cooking Wine

Did we mention that it’s $4.69 / gallon.   It’s a premixed binder!!! Wow!

What’s next?  Perhaps a nice Merlot Cooking Wine? (ok, they’re about $8.00/ gallon).

41 Comments on Sake Binder?

  1. […] (see posts).  As you may have noticed, Mark made and amazing discovery and found a printing fluid (rice wine) that works straight out of the bottle.  A few days later, Laura began testing a type of gypsum […]

  2. […] (see posts).  As you may have noticed, Mark made and amazing discovery and found a printing fluid (rice wine) that works straight out of the bottle.  A few days later, Laura began testing a type of gypsum […]

  3. Lino says:

    We’ve been exploring with the sake binder in our legacy 402 machine. It will print for one session irregularly then the print head crashes and we will have to replace it. Any thoughts or advice on that?

    • admin says:

      On the legacy 400 class machines, one should use a thin binder. Try something like XF1 (see post) or XB1 (see post). If you heads are blowing, then the binder is likely too thick.

  4. Jon says:

    Hey! I tried the Rice wine, but my head overtemped immediately. I am using a 510 with the HP11 head. Is this what you used?



    • admin says:

      Jon, sorry we don’t have a 510 yet (hopefully soon). But, you might try XB or XF binder IF you think the Rice Wine is too thick.

  5. Jon says:

    We have three 510s and I can tell you that for making ceramics they are NOT ideal. They are prone to many errors and the additional heads (for color) are a real pain. We currently print everything in monochrome mode (because color just gets baked off in the sinter process anyway) and you would be amazed how often a head that is not being used fails and needs to be replaced. In truth, we spend more time and money on the heads that we don’t use than on the one that is actually printing the part! Also, we get a lot of motion errors and very often, they actually relate to a failed head rather than a motion system issue. It’s definitely a buggy system. Invest at your own risk….

  6. Andy says:

    I am looking for a reliable binder formulation for Z510. I would like to have a reasonable shelf life for the binder also.

    • admin says:

      Sorry we don’t have a 510 available thus we are not likely to be of much help. We know that the 310 and the 510 use similar heads (an hp10 vs an hp11).
      Thus something that works for a 310 might work.

      BTW, the concept of OPEN works when everyone works as a team on different ideas. Why not invest some time and try some experiments. Please
      let us know when you find something that works.

  7. Mike says:

    I’m so happy that this site exists. I recently purchased a used 310 plus and I’m very excited to start experimenting with different materials.

    One question. What machine are you using with this binder?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • ganter says:

      Mike, make sure that you are using sake and not rice cooking wine (as cooking wine contains salt which is BAD for
      your printheads). Folks have been reporting great success on the 310s and 510s class machines.

      • Mike says:

        Ok good to know. Lucky for me I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll be on the hunt for some cheap sake instead. Makes sense. The salt might be corroding the metal in the print head. Cheers!

  8. sander says:

    Hi, we own a Z310, and what concerns us most now is that the HP10 heads are no longer being poduced and therefore are hard to get. Does anyone know if there is a alternative for these heads, or can we use the HP yellow/cyan/magenta heads as well?

    • ganter says:

      Sander, welcome to the wonderful world of technology. Things go obsolete way too quickly. We have a 310+ and are in the same situation. As of yet, I haven’t heard of any head replacements. Sorry but only black heads work because of software. Perhaps if we all asked really nicely Z could update the software to allow printheads in the same family which were not black.

      • sander says:

        Thank you Mark for your quick answer.
        I actually have a lot of questions concerning these print heads. It seems rather ridiculus to suddenly have a worthless printer due to the lack of one, small, yet vital, component.
        But what truly happens to them, making them not work anymore? There’s the wear of purging them, the over-heating when dry printing, the clogged nozzles due to binder experiments. But in what way are they really death? Why are they death? Is it something mechanical, did something burn, is it electronics?
        Do you know if there has ever been contact with ZCorp or now 3D Systems about the issue of the production stop of these heads?
        Is there maybe a way to exchange the chip of HP11 heads with the HP10? These heads are identical I guess, besides the chip. Or use HP10 yellow/cyan/magenta heads (still more widely available it seems) with a HP10 black chip. Are these chips more or less replacable at all?
        In what way is there a way to get acces to the software ourselves to make it accept HP10 colored heads or the HP11 heads? Is this totally impossible?

    • Hi, I just got a z310 but it didn’t come with any printhead. As far as I can tell the HP10 part number I need is C4800A. It appears that HP makes other HP10 black printheads – most common seems to be the part number C4844A. But based on pictures I don’t think they are compatible. Can anyone tell me what part number printhead they are using in their z310? Where you get them would be helpful too, thanks!

  9. wilfred stijger says:

    hello I hope still people read this tread!

    i own a Zprinter 150

    so i find they overcharged the powder, binder etc.

    finely i find someone who suggested to use distilled water with a drop 1.5 or 2 dish washing soap, mix this up with 1.5 liters of the distilled water and then injected into the cartridge trough the nozzle with a big syringe, anyone experience with this?
    I am still under warranty so i decide to do some research before i experiment!

    any suggestions are welcome.


  10. Ian says:

    If you’re just doing clear binder, I’m not sure you would need the dish soap… I think the purpose of the surfactant is to keep the pigments emulsed evenly and prevent clumping, but not sure

    • ganter says:

      Ian, I don’t recall adding dish soap. Surfactants may be used to lower the surface tension of the fluid. Consumer based print heads have a very narrow range of viscosity and surface tension that is acceptable. If you printhead works with your binder mix, then go with it.

  11. Buddy Smith says:

    On another post, you recommend rice wine for the 400 class machines, but here you seem to discourage it. What’s the verdict?

    I’d try, but I’ve been burning through lots of cartridges experimenting lately!

    • ganter says:

      Buddy, rice cooking wine is out as it contains salt. The salt “eats” the printhead. However, you basically need water/alcohol
      solution between 12-16% and 5-10% glycol.

  12. Jerad says:

    I have contacted Zcorp and they aren’t concerned about the lack of hp10 printheads as they claim to have a deal with Hp, for now. It does seam, however, they are at least aware of the potential problem.

    Some questions though, ganter – what do you mean “eats” the printhead? What error does that cause? Does anyone know how to reset the printhead so that the printer thinks it is a new printhead? Is this even a good idea?

  13. Jerad says:

    Also, I have tried replacing the chip of one hp10 black print head with a yellow one. The yellow printhead purges, but doesn’t print. The 310+ machine goes through the print job without errors, but nothing is actually printed. This was using zcorp powder and binder, so the only test was the printhead chip. I also tried the chip from a good printhead on one that errored as overtemp. The overtemp error persisted, so it seems there is actual damage done to printhead itself, making it garbage from that point. I have tried cooking sherry, but it also contains salt, but the prints it made before ruining the printhead were identical (using zcorp powder) to the real binder (except for a slightly darker color because sherry is dark).

    • ganter says:

      try two buck chuck.

    • Alfed V says:

      I would like to know what kind of error code you get. I am also strugling with printheads. I bought some printheads with an expired date. I get immediatly an error. And the machine doesn’t move anymore.
      It seems that there is somekind of timeslot in the printer / printhead combination.
      I am thinking of maybe reset the date of the machine itself. So when the head is placed in the machine
      it will be controlled with an other date.
      The error i get is :

      Printer error 30102 (0)
      TIGER: temp calibration exceeds range: 0 mA

      Someone recognised this error?

  14. Jerad says:

    @ganter – I am unfamiliar with two buck chuck. I was going to look for a cheap sake with low/no salt.

  15. Jerad says:

    Those who have a 310 machine, what else do you add besides the rice wine (sake)? I tried it plain and got ~10 nice layers, then overtemped. I tried adding a bit of food color as I saw elsewhere that helps, but I don’t know if 1) it actually helps, 2) how mush to add.

    • ganter says:

      Jerad, make sure you are only using Sake and not cooking wine. Bottom line:
      you need water, alcohol at about 12-16%, and some form of glycol at about 3-7%. This
      is basically the recipe for dry wines. Try any dry wine. The “legs” of wine is
      created by glycerin (a member of the glycol family).

  16. Mike says:

    For those who don’t care much about the color, would bulk ink for HP heads work? I am thinking about trying a gallon of yellow from one of the eBay sellers. I frequently do a manual partial purge and then run heads and the part of the print that looks dark black during the print seems to have the same properties as the rest of the print. For me the bulk ink at $40-$100 per gallon seems like an acceptable cost if it works.

    • ganter says:

      Mike, why not just make your own binder? or use Sake’? It will be cheaper than bulk ink. If you need color then just add food coloring.

  17. Mike says:

    I having been playing with sake in my z510/drystone with pretty good results. Some of the parts are coming out prefect and some are bleeding bad and picking up .03″-.06 inches of additional powder. I will be lowering the saturation and see what happens. Currently at 100 shell/core but will go to 95 on the core for the next attempt. The head that is currently in the machine was flushed but has about 20 hours on it.

  18. Alfred Valk says:

    I like to know if there are people still reading this page.
    I have some errors i like to solve.

  19. Hi all, is there a form people with old Z printers hang out? I just bought a broken z310 – got it all moving but it is missing the parking cap of the service station. If I had some dimensions I am thinking I could 3D print one and use some silicone for the actual cap. Or does anyone know here they sell replacement parts for them? Please help!

  20. Roberto says:

    hello all…are there people still reading these posts? need some help with the z510, are you still using Sake? i purchased a z510 but had trouble making it work, it does everything as it was printing, but it doesnt injects ink to the powder, aso, where can i get cheap color binder? thanks

    • ganter says:

      Roberto, I think someone is still reading these posts. Congrats on getting a 510. My guess is that you need to change your printheads. Yes, people still use sake (it is inexpensive and very close to the correct binder properties). As for color, if you look around on internet auction sites, you will find various people selling inkjet dyes. Good luck and keep us posted.

  21. josh says:

    Hi all,
    What is everyone mixing in their sake to actually see what they’re printing? Sake is too colourless to actually see anything getting printed. I have tried mixing with a bit of black ink but it precipitates and see black blotches throughout. thanks

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