3D chocolate printer
The world’s first 3D chocolate printer has just been unveiled in the U.K., . A 3D printer creates objects by gradually stacking layers of material into a desired shape. That is also how the chocolate version operates. It is also known as additive manufacturing in which the process has mostly been used for plastic and metal production but is not quite as tasty. (Video)
The project was led by the University of Exeter in collaboration with the University of Brunel and software developer Delcam.
The printer lets you create your own designs on a computer and reproduce them physically in 3D chocolate. Just imagine the next time you want to say, “I’m sorry.” You could do it in the form of a dark chocolate version of your face, with your apology in a speech bubble.
Creating the delectable chocolate printer poised several challenges (aside from a lot of missing samples).
“Chocolate is not an easy material to work with because it requires accurate heating and cooling cycles. These variables then have to be integrated with the correct flow rates for the 3D printing process,” notes the press release from the U.K.’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which is managing the project. “Researchers overcame these difficulties with the development of new temperature and heating control systems.” I wonder how much the replacement cartridges would cost!
The group is also working on consumer-friendly software that could make it easy to design custom chocolate objects. Afterward, a candy company would then hypothetically deliver the treat to your doorstep. What shape or text would you make out of chocolate?