As the world shifts to an increasingly paperless existence, the lowly computer printer catches fleeting glimpses of its glory days in the rear-view mirror.
“Text me the directions; I’ll pull them up on my phone,” says John Everyman. “Text” used to have a much more significant meaning during the heady times of bubblejets, inkjets, laserjets and the like. Now the word has lost its tangibility. But thanks to recent advances, there’s chocolate to be printed — yes, printers are about to enjoy a delicious renaissance.
Here’s what’s not new and what’s new: What’s not new is the concept of 3D printing – printing three-dimensional objects layer by layer. See this video with our friend Bre Pettis, who’s done a lot to advance the era of 3D printing along. Typical 3D printers are often used to create plastic-like items infused with varying amounts of utility – they’re even being used to bootleg and pirate objects. What’s the so-called “next big thing” in technology? Put 3D printing on the shortlist.
Also not new is the concept of this 3D chocolate printer. We wrote about it last year, and even linked to “edible chocolate structures” created as far back as 2007. If you can print plastic-like 3D objects, why not print 3D food objects? The technology isn’t quite advanced enough to easily create things from complex materials, but it can be used with simple foodstuffs like chocolate.
What is new is that this whimsical 3D chocolate printer from the masterminds at Choc Edge has finally become available to the masses. The Choc Creator Version 1, as it’s called, isn’t exactly cheap – 3D printing in general is still a bit on the expensive side – but can pre-order a unit for £2,488 (about $3,500) if you’re one of the first 90 people to do so.
After that, the price goes up to £2,888 (about $4,600). But – BUT! – if you pre-order, you only have to put 30% down now and then pay the rest when it ships. It’ll pay for itself when you become the only freelance 3D chocolate printer in the neighborhood. “There goes the Chocolate King!” the neighbors will yell. “Wave to the Chocolate King, kids!” Has a nice ring to it, huh?
As for the internals, the machine uses a stepper motor to three-dimensionally print layer upon layer of chocolate, which is extracted out of a refillable syringe.
According to the product page:
Choc Creator utilizes an easy-to-use syringe based chocolate deposition head which allows users to rapidly install and remove syringe head units. The design enables users to refill syringes with fresh chocolate or different chocolates conveniently.
What’s more, when you’ve conquered the world of neighborhood freelance chocolate printing and decide it’s time to move on to different projects, take solace that “Users can use any other materials in their printer for as long as the material can flow out of the printing head.” The machine uses standard 3D design files transferred to it via a USB cable from your computer.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves here, though. For now, you’ve got chocolate to print. And eat. And reprint. And eat. Here’s a video of the printer in action:
(MORE: Bre Pettis, Replicator Maker)