ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The 3D Printer has a Bright Future Making Unique Chocolates

Updated on November 15, 2016
janderson99 profile image

John uses his scientific skills (PhD) & experience developing 50+ websites to research, review & evaluate SEO, website design, Social Media

Chocolate lovers around the world may be able to make or request their own unique 3D chocolate creations. At the University of Exeter in the UK a 3D printer has been modified to squirt chocolate instead of instead of ink or plastic, allowing personalised 3D designs to be made to order. Chocolate is good for you and healthy.

3D printing is already widely used in industry using inks, metals and plastic to greatly speed up design work, develop prototypes and increasingly in manufacturing.

Like any other 3D printing job, the process starts with a flat 2D cross-section image similar to a standard photocopy page or a color printer. To move to a 3D shape, the object is built up layer by layer, printing chocolate instead of ink to create a 3D shape.

In a sense it is the opposite of a computer driven multi-dimensional lathe that cuts-out a 3D shape from a starting block. As each layer is squirted, time is required to allow the chocolate layer to solidify, and then the machine moves on to the next layer.

Shape, Size and Taste

This was far from the first attempt to develop what was called `food printers`. In 2010, a group of researchers at Cornell University in the US developed a more complicated prototype machine and liquefied foods as inks to create artificial foods. The idea was to insert the raw food "inks" into the top of the machine, load the recipe as a computer program (FabApps) and the machine would do the rest - Roast Lamb with potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and peas.

The inkjet printer process is already being applied for creating solar cells and for all sorts of other processes (see - Solar Paints, Films and Coatings - Turning the Dream into Reality).

The advantages of such as system is that it would allow the manufacturer to change and personalise your food to the texture, taste, color and other properties. This is the stuff of science fiction where you press a button and the entire meal is produced from raw ingredients.
This offers major advantages as people lacking even basic culinary skills could download the recipes files and print out the meals they want - just the way they want them. There are various ways of melting chocolate to feed into the machine

It would have major advantages of generating fresh food on demand and cutting out the huge waste and disposal requirements in preparing pre-packaged foods. Think of the savings in terms of packaging and transport and having to go to the supermarket every day. Local food, would really mean `local` - home grown on demand.

You could use a 3D printer to make homemade apple pie, just like your mum used to make, avoiding the requirement for farming the apples, fertilizing the trees, harvesting and storing the apples, packaging, refrigerating, storage, fabricating, cooking, serving and transporting processes including trucks, cars, pans, coolers, etc.

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - the Fab@home team is actively developing an affordable 3D printer fitted with a bank of syringes containing the food ingredients and 'inks' to print a wide range of foods. A computer drive process selects the various syringes that squirt the food inks single line by single line, and one layer at a time, from a computer program.

The raw materials used for the printing with these machines are restricted to substances that can be liquefied, make in suspension, extruded from a syringe and solidified as the layers are added. Usually they are melted or liquid versions of ingredients such as batter, cookie dough, cheese, chocolate, dairy products and cake batter. Oddly there are other moves to liquefy foods so everything can be eaten with a straw - Cheeseburger, fries and shake - all in a liquid pack, like a milk drink (see - Food Smoothies Liquefied Meals to Go)

Making 3D chocolates is not as easy and making the printing process work involves careful control of all key parameters, such as temperature, interaction between ingredients and delays between layered. One advantages of chocolate its that it can be squirted as a hot liquid and then cooled to solidify with other ingredients embedded in it.

Once the prototype 3D chocolate printer becomes a reality, it could find a role in restaurant for producing boutique desserts and personalised chocolates in the food industry.

All sorts of design options are possible from 3D heads to animals and various other objects.

Chocolate making may set to enter the internet. In the future there may be chocolate design and manufacturing websites. When you think about it the range of chocolates - their size, shape and taste are rather limited.

This technology could greatly expand the variety of chocolates available and offer the truly personal and unique design. There may be scope for a social community based on chocolate where people could go to the website share their designs, ideas, tastes and preferences with other chocoholics worldwide.

Perhaps 3D printing will do for food manufacturing what instant messaging, Twitter and e-mail did for communication. Wouldn't it be marvelous if you could send mom's fabulous homemade apple pie sent via e-mail as a program and have someone else print it up to a 3D item? Mum's apple pie could become very similar an instant message on Facebook that you could eat.

© janderson99-HubPages

© 2011 Dr. John Anderson

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Silva Hayes profile image

    Silva Hayes 

    7 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

    O-M-G! How weird! Interesting ...

  • StarCreate profile image

    StarCreate 

    7 years ago from Spain

    What a cool idea! Great fun.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)