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The World’s Sweetest Printer

Researchers at Britain’s University of Exeter have developed a 3-D printer that Willy Wonka would die for. Instead of using metals or plastics as its “ink,” Exeter’s uses chocolate.

Sometimes called additive manufacturing, 3-D printing technologies work off a three-dimensional CAD design of a product, then construct the item by laying down one very thin layer of material at a time. But this is the first time researchers have used chocolate as a medium.

It’s not proved easy: Chocolate doesn’t flow properly unless it is heated and cooled to precise temperatures. The team, led by Liang Hao, a materials scientist in Exeter’s College of Engineering, developed new temperature and heating control systems to make the prototype printer work. Hao envisions the day when consumers can download CAD software, create a design (or modify an existing one), send it to a shop, and pick up their self-designed sweet treat 10 minutes later. Not surprisingly, several chocolate retailers are already expressing interest in the invention. Although chocolate is hard to work with, it is much tastier than plastic.

Image:

David Martin/University of Exeter

22 Responses to “The World’s Sweetest Printer”

  1. Love the Willie Wonka reference

  2. where to buy this

  3. i want one

  4. can you eat it?

  5. The chocolate: yes. The printer: no. 🙂

  6. Oh my god I WANT ONE!!! I’m addicted to chocolate…..AND I WANT ONE!!!

  7. omg i wonder if i could make my own snickers

  8. omg afhakfijkie

  9. it’s making my mouth water I WANT CHOCOLATE. NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  10. wow, i want one and i liked the willie wonka refrence, real funny.

  11. does it come in dark and white chocolate?

  12. chocolateeeeee…… mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  13. MMMMM….. I LOVE CHOCOLATE!!!!

  14. looks good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. i love love love love

  16. This is so… SWEET! How long do we hae to wait for one of these?

  17. Chocolate PIKMIN!!!

  18. YUMMM! Now i can make my own statue of me made of choclate! I will buy 15 to maximize production capacity!!!

  19. Thank you for all your efforts – through this site means you blog feature ideas, and strongly encourage visitors to participate on this topic, so my daughter has learned a lot. You do a great job.

  20. omg i love chocolate so freakin bad i want some now

  21. […] The World’s Sweetest Printer […]

  22. how much is it.

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