So far you must have chosen from various brands of chocolates as kids and as grown ups too, but now the time has come to make your favorite chocolate. No, it is not about setting up a chocolate factory, the news is all about a printer that prints custom-made 3D chocolates at your demand. This sounds good, doesn’t it?
The researchers at University of Exeter, the UK, have developed a 3D printer that prints chocolate layers, unlike conventional printing of ink or plastic. At present the printer is a prototype and is expected to become a retail product some time soon. The technology of 3D printing also known as additive manufacturing, has been a subject of research for a long time. Printing out a 3D chocolate plainly shows how rapid the technology has advanced.
The concept of chocolate printing involves the basic 3D printing techniques with simple, flat cross-section image, which produces the first layer. Then a 3D shape is developed, adding layer by layer. Once a layer is complete it is first solidified and then the next layer is printed on. The whole process of printing 3D food objects needs certain careful parameters such as temperature. The final working product will give the option to design any object before printing it.
Such printers come in the category of ‘food-printers’. Many attempts to develop various prototypes of food printers have been made recently. In 2010, researchers from Cornell University in the US used liquefied raw food as ink in a modeled printer.
As it seems, there is huge commercial potential in the field of 3D printing, such as creating buildings, with environment friendly, cost-effective print methodology. For now, print technology is emerging in leaps and bounds and all set to be an integral part of our variety of tasks.