There’s a new Choc Edge 3D chocolate printer available that’s much improved over their first release: Choc Creator V2.
We spoke with Choc Edge’s very cheerful Business Development Director, Christina Zheng, who explained the differences from the previous machine.
The machine is now manufactured in China, providing an ability to scale up production as demand requires. We suspect the manufacturing costs are a bit lower, too.
The major technical change with version 2 is automated temperature control. As you might imagine, temperature is a critical factor in not only the structural characteristics of chocolate, but also for its taste. The new machine now maintains a supply of pre-tempered chocolate (between 28-32C), meaning you can print on demand without any lengthy warm up period. These perfect conditions are maintained through the machine all the way to the extruder.
We must emphasize that printing chocolate is a vastly different problem than 3D printing plastic. Not only does chocolate have peculiar mechanical and temperature characteristics, but any machine printing chocolate must be entirely foodsafe throughout its operation. Taste is a dimension not encountered by other 3D printers and requires very careful attention.
Chocolate itself is not physically capable of supporting itself if piled very high, leading to the small Z-height on the V2 (65mm). As a result, the majority of 3D prints on this machine will be 2D or 2.5D. You can’t print arbitrary sculptures yet. You might ask why you need a machine to produce this type of print when you could do it manually with a hand extruder. The answer is that you can’t actually do it by hand. The Choc Creator V2 is capable of printing any given image or logo in very precise 0.5mm tracks to high accuracy. You’re not doing that by hand.
3D printing chocolate is definitely different. The constraints of design imposed by chocolate material mean only certain designs can be successfully 3D printed. As a result, Choc Edge is working on custom design software to assist 3D chefs in their work. Choc Edge will also provide pre-made design libraries and two days of training to ensure buyers will succeed.
Who’s buying the £ 3,888 (USD$6,300) machine? We expect their target market is commercial kitchens who can afford the price and time required to use the machine. They can use the machine to provide unique services to their clients at a price that supports the machine.
Before you ask, yes, we were able to produce a print of our logo with the Choc Creator V2. Delicious!
Via Choc Edge