How sweet it is to be a 3D printer! And one of the sweetest of the bunch is the Candy, a new model launching on Kickstarter today (Aug 20) for $499 for the first 25 backers and $599 for others backers. True to its name, the Candy is specially designed to create candies, dessert toppings and other goodies.
From London-based company 3DVentures, the Candy boasts a stylish design that will look more at home in a kitchen than most 3D printers. 3DVentures says that the Candy's extruder (the part of the 3D printer that applies the material) is compatible with "any semi-solid foodstuff," including but not limited to liquid chocolate, sugar paste and cream.
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The Candy measures 15 x 14 x 15 inches and can print food objects up to about 9.5 inches (240 mm) cubed in size. This is pretty big for a consumer 3D printer; larger than the build area of the new Solidoodle Press ($599 and 8 inches cubed) and the Da Vinci ($499 and 7.8 inches cubed).
The Candy comes fully assembled, so you can just plug it in, add the liquid food, and start printing. It'll also include an SD card preloaded with printable 3D models (or perhaps "recipes" is more appropriate here), though of course experienced designers can create their own models in any 3D modeling program such as Sketchup or Maya.
3DVentures says it will also open a Web-based store and community area, set to launch in October, where people can share and download more recipes — something like MakerBot's Thingiverse.com, but for food. But first, the Candy Kickstarter campaign has to reach its lofty goal of $100,000 in 30 days.
Though the Candy bills itself as "the first confectionery-focused 3D printer," that isn't entirely true. The ChefJet, from Rock Hill, South Carolina-based 3D Systems is a commercial 3D printer that uses a sugar blend to build cake toppings, fancy candies and more. But the ChefJet is larger than a typical kitchen oven, and costs more than $5000.
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Jill Scharr is a staff writer at Tom's Guide who regularly covers online security, video games and 3D printing. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her @JillScharr and on Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.