One of the world’s largest suppliers of chocolate revealed a new 3D printing service.
If you’re not familiar with Barry Callebaut, they are a Swiss-based company that currently produces around 2Mt of the sweet substance annually, with almost 12,000 staff worldwide. They know chocolate, having been in operation (in previous forms) since 1842.
World’s First Chocolate 3D Printing?
Now, they offer a 3D printing service. They say:
“Barry Callebaut opens world’s first 3D Printing Studio to craft unseen chocolate experiences.”
I’m a bit skeptical about the “world’s first” claim, as there have been numerous attempts at chocolate 3D printing in the past. Last year, Cadbury announced the “world’s first chocolate 3D printer”, which it obviously was not. Perhaps the first commercialized chocolate 3D printer was the Choc Edge, which we first encountered in 2012. It seems to be still available, too.
Most have failed miserably, with the possible exception of Le MIAM Factory, based in Belgium, who have offered a professional chocolate 3D printing service for many years quite successfully.
Barry Callebaut Chocolate 3D Printing
Now industry giant Barry Callebaut offers a service of this type through their Mona Lisa brand, although not the “world’s first”. They say:
“It is the first and only studio in the world where we 3D print your creations or designs in real, delicious chocolate at scale. And where you can co-create with our design teams to explore new ideas, shapes and experiences.”
So it could be that they have created a large-scale system, perhaps an array of chocolate 3D printers, that could produce larger quantities of chocolate dainties on demand. This could be unique, as we’re not aware of other high-volume chocolate 3D printing services.
Barry Callebaut says:
“Mona Lisa 3D Studio is the first 3D printing studio that works with the same chocolate couvertures preferred and used by the world’s most renowned pastry chefs and chocolatiers.
Count on the snap, shine, fineness and indulgently intense taste of our high-quality chocolates.”
It seems they have perfected the very challenging details of 3D printing chocolate, which has stymied many who have tried. It turns out that chocolate is a very troublesome material that must be kept at particular temperatures for certain durations to maintain its taste and texture, aspects that are not required for typical 3D printing activities.
For now, Barry Callebaut offers access to the service only to “chefs and hotels, coffee chains and restaurant establishments in specific European countries”. Pricing is not available, and that makes sense, as the cost of a job depends on what is being produced and the number of units required. However, they do have a contact form on their site where you can obtain further information.
Once produced, Barry Callebaut will carefully package up the chocolate prints and ship them to you. However, they say the lead time will be as long as twelve weeks, which seems quite long in the world of 3D printing.
Via Barry Callebaut