UK-based Choc Edge will shortly deliver the world’s first commercial 3D chocolate printer. The Choc Creator is tailored for creative chocolate manufacturers and will allow users to literally “print their own custom-made chocolates, layer by layer”.
Three-dimensional, or 3D, printing describes the process of creating three-dimensional objects from digital files using a materials printer, in a manner similar to printing images on paper. The 3D-printer prints out the object layer by layer similar to a printer creating text and images line by line.
In simple terms it’s a manufacturing method that takes three-dimensional image files and “prints” them into physical objects using a variety of materials, usually ink or plastics to print out designs. In the case of Choc Creator this material is chocolate.
The company, founded by Dr Liang Hao who led a team of scientists from the University of Exeter which created the first prototype last year, was set up to capitalise on the interest of those retailers and e-commerce merchants with an interest in the product. One is reportedly UK specialty firm and chocolate and confectionery goods retailer Thornton’s.
Recent comments attributed to Dr Hao suggest it’s a very simple process. “We’ve improved and simplified the machine, so now it is really easy to use… You just need to melt some chocolate, fill a syringe that is stored in the printer, and get creative printing your chocolate.”
The company’s website does stress that Choc Edge is currently in the process of obtaining a food grade certification for the Choc Creator printer and that non-certified printers are acceptable for printing demonstration chocolates and making creative and artistic displaying objects only. It expects to have a food grade certificated printer and upgrade within three to six months.
So if you’re curious to see how the product works check out this demo video below.
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