At last, 3D chocolate printing has arrived. We can switch off the internet, shut down CERN, and turn our universities into campuses of poetry. Our species has reached the pinnacle of science.
Researchers at the U.K.’s University of Exeter have developed a 3D fabricating machine that manufactures chocolate objects to your chosen design.
So if you want your loved one’s name, or a special message, or an unusually tasty insult carved out of the purest chocolate, all you have to do is pick a font and a flavor. The machine can do the rest.
Project leader Dr. Liang Hao says, “What makes this technology special is that users will be able to design and make their own products. 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!” he added, wiping his lips with the back of his hand.
But wait, what’s this? It turns out that 3D chocolate printing isn’t a new idea after all. Take a look at the Fab@Home site and you’ll find photos of edible chocolate structures built back in 2007. I wouldn’t eat them now if I were you, though.
What the Exeter team has achieved is a step forward from those initial chocolatey experiments. The latest prototype is suitable for use by food manufacturers and catering companies, who are quivering with the thought of the profits they could make from custom food designs for special occasions. Either that or they’re having some sort of sugar rush or something.
The ultimate destiny of 3D printers, of course, is as an all-purpose kitchen appliance that eats trash and spits out anything you ask it to: underwear, utensils, screwdrivers, you name it. No reason why any of those can’t be made out of chocolate. No reason at all.
[via BBC News]