Chocolates are fun. Printing them sounds incredible. Want more? The 3D printing technique would even allow consumers to design their own chocolates!
Researchers from the University of Exeter in collaboration with the University of Brunel and software developer Delcam have developed a 3D Chocolate Printer that literally prints out chocolates. Although 3D printing of objects have been around for a while, the technology for the first time has been applied to chocolates. Initially it was a challenge because the process required perfect blending of heating and cooling procedures to produce a printed version. The researchers finally came up with a solution making printable chocolates a success.
Research lead Dr Liang Hao states that chocolates were the first choice because of their availability, low price and non-hazardous makeup. Wastage was also not an issue as unused or spoiled chocolate could be consumed. He surmises that with this achievement other edible materials would follow suit which would open up doors for anyone interested in customizing food products, be it chocolates or anything else. This could be in the form of retailers allowing users to upload their chocolate designs to a website for 3D printing and successive delivery [or may be owning a machine of your own].
“The project is funded as part of the Research Council UK Cross-Research Council Programme – Digital Economy and is managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of ESRC, AHRC and MRC.”
For more information visit EPSRC.