This article is one of a series of case studies exploring our customers’ implementations of 3D technology.
This case study is about Chocolama and the Chocola3D printer they purchased from us.
Chocola3D prints chocolate and any foodstuffs that have a paste-like consistency.
Chocolama purchased the Chocola3D printer after carefully comparing the specifications and value for money of 3D chocolate printers available on the market.
“We’d been researching what printers were on the market and found that there weren’t all that many to choose from. The Chocola3D grabbed our attention, as it is a newer model and has a fairly large print area in comparison with the other printers. We were impressed by the print quality we saw in the demonstration photos and videos.”
Printing with chocolate proved harder at first than the marketing videos made it look, but once the process was mastered the results were more than satisfying.
There was a learning curve, of course. It didn’t take long to get the hang of the printer itself, but persuading the chocolate to behave itself was a different story. Chocolate is a very unforgiving material. If you make it just a little too warm or too cold it punishes you with unsightly visual effects on the outer layer. After fine-tuning all the settings and acquiring a feel for the material, we found the sweet spot. Now the whole process, from creating a computer model to printing the finished item, is an absolute pleasure.”
As in other industries, 3D printing brings its unique advantages to the confectionery trade.
"Names and special dates are hugely popular with our customers. We’re aiming at the B2B market, as we know from our own experience the pain companies go through when they’re looking for corporate gifts and original advertising materials. We’ve also started making cake toppers for private confectioners.”
Even the most complex chocolate shapes can now be made in any quantity. Before 3D printing, special silicone molds would have to be made to order, or each individual item would be carved by hand. These approaches are incomparable with printing in terms of time and cost.
The printer’s job is to produce all manner of chocolate shapes, company logos and words in 2.5D and 3D. These are standalone edible souvenirs and various elements of cake decorations.
“Our throughput is around 15 to 20 items a day, depending on their shape and size. We’re pleased with that and we plan to scale up in the near future.”
Some more photos to whet your appetite:
Chocolama has embraced 3D printing and is now successfully using it to expand its business. As this study illustrates, the food industry is one of the diverse range of fields and industries that can benefit from additive manufacturing technologies.
Visit Top 3D Shop to explore our full range of 3D printing and 3D scanning equipment.