Chocolate lovers may soon be able to print their own 3D creations thanks to work by UK scientists: a 3D printer that uses chocolate has been developed by University of Exeter researchers – and it prints layers of chocolate instead of ink or plastic.
Although still a prototype, several retailers have already expressed interest in taking on the device. 3D printing using plastic and metal is already widely used in industry to speed up design work.
Lead scientist Dr Liang Hao told BBC News that chocolate printing, just like any other 3D printing technique, starts with a flat cross-section image – similar to that produced by ordinary printers turning out images.
“Then you do a 3D shape – layer by layer, printing chocolate instead of ink, like if you were layering 2D paper to form a 3D shape,” he said. Once a layer is completed, it solidifies, and the machine moves on to the next layer.