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10 Real 3D Printing Projects

Chocolate

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.

  • mister g
    How many here saw the picture next to the link and clicked it? Not trying to be sexist but honestly how many?
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    mister gHow many here saw the picture next to the link and clicked it? Not trying to be sexist but honestly how many?Hi There, glad I got you to click. The bikini is a design to be printed on a 3D printer. Amazing, right? I'm sure that's why the organization behind the technology put up a youtube video about the bikini, specifically. Whatever it takes to get people interested in new tech!

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Managing Editor, Tom's Guide
    Reply
  • mister g
    At least this page allows comments, unlike in Tom's Style. I also think 3-d printing is pretty cool, but I got to this page from a little box on Toms Hardware showing articles from sister sites. Keep up the good work though!
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    Man 3D printing has come such a long way! Growing up my dad worked for a recently bankrupt 3D scanning company (great product, poor managers). He would bring home different busts and objects that they messed with on the computer and 'printed' with various types of 3D printers. The best I saw at the time was a mill that actually whittled down a block of wood or styrofoam. The worst were the old level-by-level printers that showed obvious lines between the tiers. But nothing was nearly so smooth and seamless as many of these examples.
    Reply
  • distanted
    I came for the altoid bikini, I stayed for the bone replacement project...that is simply amazing. The plane design concept is pretty cool, too. Hopefully their bikini project turns out better than my Mentos bikini and diet coke pool concept.
    Reply
  • nickallen1984
    For more info about 3D printing and see if you can get something printed for free have a look at www.3dprint-uk.co.uk - it is a very helpful and friendly site with masses of great info! They were really helpful with my project!
    Reply
  • mrmaia
    3d Printing is home industry! Can't wait to see how it will develop over time.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    So that's how they made Leeloo Dallas!
    Reply
  • DSpider
    back_by_demandSo that's how they made Leeloo Dallas!Fifth Element.

    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    The chocolate is pretty precise, but it seems as though it could get much more detailed and accurate. Perhaps they need to print it using more viscous (runny) "ink" and apply less at a time.
    Reply