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3D printing has hit our little town. Our local community college is working on a grant to purchase commercial 3D printers. Not knowing much about the process I cam across this article by Katia Moskvitch and wanted to share it for all the foodies out there. Super exciting.

Article By Katia Moskvitch
Technology reporter, BBC News

Chocolate lovers may soon be able to print their own 3D creations thanks to work by UK scientists.

A 3D printer that uses chocolate has been developed by University of Exeter researchers – and it prints layers of chocolate instead of ink or plastic.

Although still a prototype, several retailers have already expressed interest in taking on the device.

3D printing using plastic and metal is already widely used in industry to speed up design work.

Lead scientist Dr Liang Hao told BBC News that chocolate printing, just like any other 3D printing technique, starts with a flat cross-section image – similar to that produced by ordinary printers turning out images.

“Then you do a 3D shape – layer by layer, printing chocolate instead of ink, like if you were layering 2D paper to form a 3D shape,” he said. Once a layer is completed, it solidifies, and the machine moves on to the next layer.

Shape and taste

There have been other attempts to develop so-called “food printers” – in 2010, researchers from Cornell University in the US used liquefied foods as inks in a specially designed machine.

Dr Richard Hague from Loughborough University told BBC News that the Exeter creation is a step towards manufacturing a device able to print flawless 3D objects that taste good.

 The machine builds up objects layer by layer

Getting the printing process right involves careful control of key parameters, such as temperature.


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