The engineers and biologists don’t get all the fun. Plastics, metals and myriad other materials are used in 3D printing, so why not chocolate? A team at the University of Exeter have started a project examining how consumers might be able to design their own chocolate treats from a computer that would then be printed at their local bakery or grocery store. You could design a sculpture of your boyfriend and have it printed in chocolate for his birthday.
"What makes this [3D printing] special is that users will be able to design and make their own products,” noted research leader Dr Liang Hao in a statement.
“In the long term it could be developed to help consumers custom- design many products from different materials but we’ve started with chocolate as it is readily available, low cost and non-hazardous. There is also no wastage as any unused or spoiled material can be eaten of course! From reproducing the shape of a child’s favorite toy to a friend’s face, the possibilities are endless and only limited by our creativity.”
While a chocolate printer is novel and fun to think about, the group does see the medium and computer designed (tasty) sculptures as a way to drive home the power of 3D printing.