Chocolate printing technology advancement is the start of something sweet

July 12, 2011 by  

Researchers at Exeter University have pushed 3D printing a step further and have discovered a method of printing using chocolate instead of ink.

It seems as though sweet success is on the cards for Dr. Liang Hao, the head scientist behind the research project. The prototype chocolate printing machine uses similar technology already in place in some plastic and metal printers used by product development firms to ‘print’ prototypes of their products. Dr. Hao says that the machine works

“layer by layer, printing chocolate instead of ink, like if you were layering 2D paper to form a 3D shape”

This advancement is the latest to come in a wave of innovations in printing.

Loughborough University’s Dr. Richard Hague spoke about the chocolate printer, saying that it was

“a step towards manufacturing a device able to print flawless 3D objects that taste good.”

This development shows innovation in the printing industry but is also receiving attention from other sectors, most specifically food and confectionery industries.

The project is in its infancy and has huge potential, Dr. Hao has even spoke about taking it online and encouraging people to design their own chocolates online before ‘printing’ them out using the machine.

It may be a far cry from the world of poster and flyer printing, but Loughborough University’s Dr. Hague was right in stating that the creation of a prototype that allows people to design and create their own food using a computer programme could be the start of something special, particularly for the UK food industry.