The chocolatier is using 3D printing to make products cheaper and more efficient.
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Spotted: Jacques Torres, legendary chocolatier and host of Emmy-nominated series Nailed It! is adding a new twist to his Halloween chocolate collection – 3D printing. The New York-based confectioner has specially created a ‘spooky’ chocolate plaque, designing the mould with a 3D printer.
Torres used the Prusa i3 MK2 printer and an open-source software blender to design and print the mould for the plaque. The plaque was printed in plastic, and the chocolate then poured into the mould to create the confection. The design and production took place in Makerspace’s workshop in the Brooklyn Army Terminal, where Torres’s chocolate factory is also located.
It is possible to 3D-print chocolate directly, using an extruder head to lay down layers of molten chocolate, which cools to form the final shape. However, this is primarily used for customising or making one-off products. Torres used the mould to make it easier to produce large quantities at a reasonable price – the Halloween plaque sells for €6.30 ($6.99) both in-store and online.
According to Torres, he decided to create the mould using 3D printing, “because it’s more efficient and a lot quicker than having to create it by hand. Plus, we can do everything in-house. Making our own mould using 3D software and printing allows us to … [have] more precision in design and … we pass on the economic savings to our customers,” he told Forbes. In the future, he plans to use the technology to push the limits of chocolate mould-making.
At Springwise, we have seen 3D printing put to a wide variety of innovative uses. Recent innovations in this area have included the 3D printing of meat in space and the use of food waste as source material to print plastic cups.