BBC news reports today on scientists at the University of Exeter in the UK who have developed a new chocolate 3D printer. Instead of extruding tasteless plastic, this printer is capable of extruding liquified chocolate into solid – and edible – objects. The process is similar to other extrusion-based 3D printers: squirt and solidify each layer in succession, gradually building up a complete object. Or food item in this case.
We’ve seen attempts at chocolate printing before, but mainly they were experiments that simply proved it could be accomplished mechanically. However, as kitchen chefs all know, cooking is more than just tossing ingredients together. The best food comes from careful attention to fresh ingredients, sequencing and temperature control. That’s what seems to be the focus of this new chocolate experiment, where researchers wish to find the right way to make the food actually taste good. On the other hand, we think any chocolate is good chocolate!
Interestingly, they’re also working on a “consumer friendly interface” for people to design their own chocolate objects.
Informal discussions we have with the public about 3D printing invariably drift over to the topic of “food printing”. It seems that people have an extremely strong interest in printing food, while the 3D printer manufacturers consistently avoid this capability, instead focusing on industrial or personal manufacturing uses.
The first food printers will likely be similar to this experiment, using chocolate and similar feed (food?) material. They’ll probably first appear in expensive kitchens to prepare unique desserts or cake toppers for weddings, etc. Eventually if the price comes down and sufficient ecosystem appears, we may see these things show up in kitchens across the land.
Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!
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Welcome to Fabbaloo, one of the world’s oldest online news sources for 3D printing news. We’ve been in operation since 2007, where we first started examining the state of 3D printers. These devices are now relatively common among some circles in today’s world, but years ago it was extremely rare to see a 3D printer or even a 3D printed object.
At that time it was challenging to find any 3D printing news, so we decided to make our own site that covered 3D printer news, and even associated technologies like 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Today it is common to find 3D printers in schools, workshops and makerspaces, and you probably have been using 3D printed objects without even knowing they were 3D printed.
Today’s industry has finally taken up the challenge by installing thousands of industrial 3D printers, each producing previously impossible 3D printed parts that make today’s society far more efficient. The aerospace industry in particular has been producing many 3D printed parts, some even for flight critical purposes.
If you want to learn about 3D printers, then there’s no better place than Fabbaloo’s 3D printer news to see the latest happenings.
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