The past few years has seen growing interest in 3D printers, which can produce all manner of things, from novelty home decorations to utilitarian items, even including some medical use cases.
Now, one company is looking to step away from plastic-based production to something a bit tastier - chocolate-based 3D printing.
Order books open on April 17 for the so-called Cocoa Press (opens in new tab), at which point a $100 deposit will be taken. US and Canadian orders are expected to ship in September 2023, with other markets and a fully assembled version set for a later release in 2024.
Chocolate 3D printer
The novelty will comes at a cost, though, because even the cheapest DIY kits will cost $1,499 with professional packages starting at $3,995. Still, this is cheaper than creator Ellie Weinstein’s first attempt in 2020, which cost $9,995.
The 150-watt 3D printer has a maximum build volume of 140x150x150mm (5.5x6x6”) however the company says that the size of a design is predominantly limited by the chocolate cartridge, containing 70g of chocolate that’s designed to be pre-heated for 15 minutes to “just below body temperature” prior to printing, which is a welcome cost-saving measure compared with the 200-plus degrees Celsius required by plastic-based printers.
Cocoa Press says: “We are working on a method to allow you to reload chocolate in the middle of a print.”
DIY kits are said to take around 10 hours to build, and are “slightly easier” than VORON V0.1 assembly.
Refill chocolate cartridges will be available in packs of 10 for $49, and are specifically optimized to work with the 3D printer using a blend of cocoa solids and sustainably sourced palm oil. Cocoa Press does say that users can opt for their own choice of chocolate, though this may require an element of experimentation.
Each of the four pieces that the chocolate touches during the press can be removed and hand washed for ease of use, too.
Besides designing your own carefully curated piece of chocolate, Cocoa Press has issued a number of its own designs for users to try. Currently, this stands at three, available on its Printables (opens in new tab) web page.
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