3D printers undoubtedly have a wide variety of possibilities when it comes to how they’re able to be used. In one of the most recent developments, it’s now possible to print food using TVP and other edible materials thanks to the world’s first 3D chocolate printer. Users with a sweet tooth will now be able to satisfy their cravings for cakes and sweets thanks to the ChefJet and ChefJet Pro 3D printers, which were developed by 3D Systems. However, this sort of technology doesn’t come cheap. Those who need a bit of glitz and colour in their cakes will be looking at spending upwards of $10,000 USD.
How This Technology Came to Be
In 2011, a team of researchers and developers at University of Exeter in the United Kingdom developed the first 3D chocolate printer and released it to the general public with a price tag of just under £3,000 GBP. However, it was rather limited in its functionality and could only print the smallest of candies. Now, it’s possible to create very elaborate cakes and designs thanks to the ChefJet.
Quinn Karaitiana, one of the leading minds behind this project, is quite interested in the potential of 3D printing as a low-cost solution to hunger. He improved on the original design of researchers at Exeter and scaled it to the point where it could be released for $99 USD; The ChocaByte. This device was designed only days before CES 2014, but it is the most affordable 3D food printer to date. It does, however, require a few external devices like a microwave to heat the chocolate filament before loading it into the printer. A chocolate bar will then be printed for the user in roughly 10 minutes.
The ChocaByte Printer
The Chocabyte is still working out some of its kinks and design issues, but it will soon have a database of chocolate bar designs, so users can pick and choose just about any mainstream chocolate bar design from online templates. It will also be possible to share custom designs with the general public through an open upload service.
The printer itself occupies very little footprint. It’s roughly 2 x 2 x 1” and is compact enough to fit alongside many computer desks, where they’ll be needed the most. Unfortunately, chocolate filament cartridges aren’t all that cheap when compared to the actual price of the printer ($99 USD). users will be required to buy cartridges for $2.50 each, but it’s possible to print a chocolate bar using just one cartridge.
Each printer and cartridge is handmade, so Quinn is planning on limiting the overall production line. There will only be 500 ChocaByte printers in existence as each printer needs to be made by hand, one at a hand. Delivery times will therefore be roughly one to three months after placing an order.
Will This Stamp Out Hunger?
3D printers are certainly paving the way for eliminating the issue of hunger. Will they be all of what people need to sustain themselves. It’s certainly possible, but of course, it doesn’t in any way replace adequate supplies of healthy foodstuffs wherever they’re available.