Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

3D Chocolate Printer

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the print-me-off-a-candy-bar dept.

Idle 91

BoxRec writes "Scientists in England have developed a 3D chocolate printer that prints layers of chocolate instead of ink or plastic. 'Now we have an opportunity to combine chocolate with digital technology, including the design, digital manufacturing and social networking. Chocolate has a lot of social purpose, so our intention is to develop a community and share the designs, ideas and experience about it,' says lead scientist Dr Liang Hao."

cancel ×

91 comments

Oh great (2)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 3 years ago | (#36671178)

now I have to hide this from the fiancee!

Re:Oh great (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#36672368)

Your fiancee is going to want you to buy a high-tech gadget and you want to discourage it? Hand in your geek card immediately!

Re:Oh great (1)

brainboyz (114458) | about 3 years ago | (#36672888)

GP doesn't want the fiancee to plump up while playing with the high tech gadget.

Re:Oh great (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 3 years ago | (#36673260)

tagged mmmchocolateomnomnom :-)

All I have to say is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671190)

SWEET!

A chocolate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671194)

Print a chocolate shaped like a turd!

Re:A chocolate (2)

base3 (539820) | about 3 years ago | (#36671228)

And get sued by Nestle for copying the Baby Ruth :).

From the archive of Bloom County... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#36673108)

how about a box of obscenely shaped chocolates?

Re:From the archive of Bloom County... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 3 years ago | (#36697380)

how about a box of obscenely shaped chocolates?

One of my sisters borrowed the other sister's car for moving female sex goods to a site where she was having a sales party one evening.

Next morning, the other sister was taking her children to school, and didn't notice that they'd found a box of "ice breaker" chocolate penises in the back seat.

The children took the box of chocolates into school and shared them around their friends at break.

One of the teachers was given a chocolate by one of the children.

"Fun and games" ensued.

Too Late (1)

Sylak (1611137) | about 3 years ago | (#36671218)

Been done before. http://shopriffraff.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Too Late (2)

Sylak (1611137) | about 3 years ago | (#36671240)

Not sure of that's the right link anymore, but my point is here's the project that's done it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNZFbT8CPJU [youtube.com]

Re:Too Late (1)

BenJaminus (472372) | about 3 years ago | (#36671490)

Saw this yesterday in an attempt to see it actually working.

Was disappointed.

Why would you have a whole report without it actually printing any chocolate?

cynical reasons I can think of :
1) It's something they're working on, doesn't work yet but they want to raise publicity/funding
2) They ate all the chocolate so couldn't print anymore

Re:Too Late (2)

jdbannon (1620995) | about 3 years ago | (#36671276)

Not sure what your link had to do with anything, but it /has/ been done before: http://www.fabathome.org/wiki/index.php?title=Materials:Chocolate [fabathome.org]

Re:Too Late (1)

acohen1 (1454445) | about 3 years ago | (#36672768)

Indeed, my cousin works w/ Fab@Home and one of my friends in college worked on 3D chocolate printing similar to this a few years before that as a grad project. Nothing new here.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36672670)

Someone else did it too with a MakerBot. Saw it on their blog awhile ago.

Can't wait... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#36671238)

Can't wait til we get this here in the States, because if there's one thing we need in this country, it's more chocolate products...

Re:Can't wait... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 3 years ago | (#36671406)

in the States, because if there's one thing we need in this country, it's more chocolate products

Yes you do, the last time I was there, chocolate one takes at random from the shelf is completely unedible. The brand I've seen to be most popular, "Hershey", is the worst of it all. And looking at the ingredients, I see that in Europe that junk would be hard pressed to qualify as "chocolate-like".

I guess that you might have real chocolate somewhere in an obscure stand in a corner, like that mythical "drinkable American beer" people keep mentioning here on Slashdot -- my sampling was just a few random pieces taken without prior knowledge. You know, to get a fair idea what people on the other side of the pond eat.

I've visited last quite a few years ago, but googling around, I see that recently the law there has been changed to allow calling a product "chocolate" even if it doesn't contain any cocoa or milk. This doesn't bode well for the taste...

Re:Can't wait... (2)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36671492)

I see that in Europe that junk would be hard pressed to qualify as "chocolate-like".

You cannot buy American chocolate in Europe because it is literally illegal due to not meeting standards.

European chocolate is "real" chocolate.

American chocolate is brown food coloring, crisco, and corn syrup for sweetness. If its sweet and brown its called "chocolate"

You can buy "real chocolate bars" in the US, its just they're called "gourmet" and cost about $4 per bar instead of the $1 bar of Hershey's Crisco.

(Don't know if you have Crisco in europe, its a generic veg oil that is hydrogenated into a room temp solid lard substitute.)

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671534)

If its sweet and brown its called "chocolate"

No; if it's sweet and brown, it's called Kelly Rowland. If it's sweet and brown and edible it's called chocolate.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671642)

Well *I* would eat her out any day.

Re:Can't wait... (2)

advocate_one (662832) | about 3 years ago | (#36672220)

European chocolate is "real" chocolate.

not all European chocolate is "real" chocolate... we have some of that crappy vegelate as it is derisively named made here in England, the standards were fought over quite vociferously and in the end it meets them through a "loophole" in the regulations [europa.eu]

(13) The derogation provided for in Directive 73/241/EEC allowing the United Kingdom and Ireland to authorise the use on their territory of the name "milk chocolate" to designate "milk chocolate with high milk content" should be maintained; however, the English name "milk chocolate with high milk content" should be replaced with the name "family milk chocolate".

.

Cadbury's milk chocolate is not a high cocoa content and most Easter Egg chocolate in UK is low solids as well... and as for Hershey's... our Asda supermarkets have been selling it... (their parent company is Walmart after all)... I tried some and found only the plain bars were edible... the milk and white bars were bleuch... the texture in the mouth was disgusting...

Re:Can't wait... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671536)

Hey looky here. Eurotrash comes over to the USA, drinks a shitty beer and eats shitty chocolate and assumes everyone else in the USA is as stupid as him. See, we have good beer and chocolate in the USA, we just give the shitty stuff to you foreigners because it is funny to us. By the way, how is EuroDisney going? How is the Euro doing - what is it like 1.4 US dollars to the Euro? Seems to me it used to be more...

P.S. Budweiser is now owned by a Belgium country. So the shittiest beer in the world is made by Europe.

Re:Can't wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671706)

P.S. Budweiser is now owned by a Belgium country.

given the current political situation in my country you have no idea how funny that lapsus actually is.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 3 years ago | (#36671722)

In the USA for some reason people seem to be unable to taste something if it doesn't have loads of sugar and salt added, or the combination of both.

Real chocolate has a bitter taste, not a sweet taste. I can appreciate it, but an American would not want to eat it, he would want loads of sugar added to it and the bitter cocoa removed, so that what remains is just the same as any other american food is (a bunch of sugar with color added to it).

Re:Can't wait... (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 3 years ago | (#36671966)

Oh, FFS. Yes, you are a bigger man than all of America combined because you have convinced yourself that eating ground up burnt beans tastes good. Well done. Can you please stop now?

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | about 3 years ago | (#36672104)

Funny, I just ate a bar of American chocolate that was 84% cocao. It was not overly sweet, had a nice bitter chocolate taste as well. No artificial colors or flavorings. Just a simple real chocolate bar that cost me all of $1.25 at my local supermarket. There was a whole bunch of them, so I am pretty confident I am not the only American who enjoys a decent real chocolate bar. People outside of the USA fail to remember how large and diverse the USA is. Lumping all "Americans" into one category is so ridiculous - we hardly ever all agree on anything let alone on most things. Saying the population of the USA is in agreement on anything would be like every country in Europe agreeing on anything. Rarely happens.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

bratloaf (1287954) | about 3 years ago | (#36672544)

This ^

I can go into any reasonably decent grocery here, or even many WalMarts and buy good chocolate. 85% or more cacao. Even many "eurotrash" brands. I appreciate GOOD chocolate, and also dont care for Hershey's or most "milk" chocolates (including most european ones). Hershey's special extra dark is actually pretty decent. Just like beer. There are MANY great made in USA beers. Thousands of great micro-brews that I'd put against anything from Europe. GP is being especially short sighted and lame. This would be like me going to China and complaining that "all the stir fry is lame". Uh, there are about a billion different things, they can't ALL be lame.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 3 years ago | (#36680612)

I know, I was exaggerating. I'm actually happy to hear about the many micro-brews that exist there too. Didn't know that. I just based my post on the image we get here of what comes from there, local stuff from there doesn't reach us here of course. And on the story I heard from someone from here making a cake of a type I love, for kids in America and they hated the cake because it wasn't sweet enough while kids here would love it. Anyway, thanks for your post :)

Re:Can't wait... (1)

enjerth (892959) | about 3 years ago | (#36672224)

I can appreciate it, but an American would not want to eat it

Real chocolate, like what, 85% cocoa? I love it. I don't care for the taste, but the drug-induced euphoria is lovely.

How strong is your chocolate?

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 3 years ago | (#36672566)

In the US, "real" chocolate is usually called dark chocolate, while milk chocolate is the more common mild sweet stuff for kids.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

wjousts (1529427) | about 3 years ago | (#36675210)

In the USA for some reason people seem to be unable to taste something if it doesn't have loads of sugar and salt added, or the combination of both.

Nonsense I say! .......Sometimes they smother it in cheese too. Or, I should say, a yellow cheese like substance.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 3 years ago | (#36671734)

I admit that some of best things I ever ate were during my two trips to the US. You have wonderful pizza (far better than "real" pizza in Italy!), great tex-mex and so on.

But where it comes to bread, beer, chocolate... it's a disaster. I know you can find any food for any taste somewhere, but if every sample taken from what is in plain sight is not edible, something is wrong with the majority of people there. Shops wouldn't stock nearly exclusively the trash if no one bought it. Thus, I think it's a safe assumption going into a shop and taking a bunch of samples can accurately tell what an AVERAGE american eats.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 3 years ago | (#36671860)

Ahh, German bread and German beer! A meal in itself. With sausage and cheese . . . extravagant!

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | about 3 years ago | (#36672530)

There is no such thing as an "average American". This country is too large, too populated, and too diverse to get an accurate average. That is like saying the average of 2 and 1 million is 500001. Sure it is the average, but it doesn't really give you a good picture. For example the 'average" diets of Americans in the Northeast, the South, the Southwest, and the Midwest will all vary greatly. Finding the "average American" meal would be akin to finding the "average European" meal.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

bratloaf (1287954) | about 3 years ago | (#36672604)

You really just have to look. "Go where the locals go" doesn't always work either - depending on who the locals are. For example, I've had some of the WORST BBQ I've ever had (by any measure I can surmise) in Memphis and Texas, both the BBQ capitals of the universe. By following the "locals". I managed to find MUCH better by simply going a few other places and not judging based on a small sample size. Ditto that for Beer, Pizza and many other foods, attractions, etc. Sometimes you just have to look around and find what YOU like. Chances are it's there someplace.

One of our local grocery chains (Wegmans) has fantastic stone-oven baked bread (many many different styles), a wide selection of gourmet chocolate, heck they even have palatable sushi (made fresh to order), and 1000 different brands of beer (not exaggerating). Not everyone everyplace is a troglodyte - those of us who like good food/beer/sweets know where to go...

Re:Can't wait... (1)

Paolo DF (849424) | about 3 years ago | (#36672924)

Sorry, folks, but I *have* to chime in.
Anything you call "pizza" isn't pizza if it doesn't seem *and* taste like italian pizza (I'd go further and say Neapolitan Pizza). Fullstop!
Now, I also like PizzaHut and stuff, but I just consider it what it is: something made with spongy bread, sauce, some weird cheese, and a lot of other stuff on it.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

ChatHuant (801522) | about 3 years ago | (#36675876)

But where it comes to bread, beer, chocolate... it's a disaster

And for some reason, meats; I mean, prepared meats, like sausages, salami, ham, and so on. The selection and quality are incredibly poor compared to Europe (especially Central and Eastern Europe, though you can get some pretty good stuff in France and Italy too). It's not so bad for cheeses, but finding a good prosciutto or smoked sausage is very expensive and a real pain.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about 3 years ago | (#36671952)

I personally don't like chocolate, so I can't vouch for that but to imply that for some reason European beer is any better or worse is asinine nationalistic bullshit.

Yeah, we've got swill like Bud Light. I'm sorry (I really am, honestly.) But we've also got Three Floyd's stout selection and Dogfish Head IPAs.

But to counter that, you've tried to match us in the suckfest that is mainstream beers by putting Champ next to the likes of Chimay or Denison's hefeweizen.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 3 years ago | (#36672186)

Most American chocolate contains some soured milk, which includes butyric acid, also found in vomit. There's nothing wrong with that*, but it's certainly not a taste or smell I'd be expecting in chocolate. At work, whenever someone visits a foreign country they bring back a sweet snack food (biscuits, sweets, chocolates). Usually they don't last more than a week, but American chocolate typically gets thrown out after a couple of months. It's presumably an acquired taste.

* Soured milk in chocolate is nothing to feel superior about. Have you seen some of the things "we" eat? Lutefisk... surströmming... Marmite (etc)...

Re:Can't wait... (1)

IonOtter (629215) | about 3 years ago | (#36672284)

Hey, don't be so uppity about the shitty beer we have over here.

YOU have Strongbow and Buckfast, so that makes us even.

And the way home brewing is really getting into swing in these parts, we'll be having proper pubs serving genuine, room-temperature ales, lagers, stouts, porters and more.

Re:Can't wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36674290)

And here we go, another westerner rewriting history. In this case a Euro-peon trying to take credit for what chocolate is or should be. You guys stole it from the Aztecs (specifically the Spaniards, but you clowns are in cahoots so it's pretty much the same thing).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate#History

So don't go around lecturing about what "real" chocolate is after you stole it from the Americas. Next thing you know you'll be claiming invention of corn & potatoes.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 3 years ago | (#36675514)

The first thing Europeans tried with cocoa was smoking it. Guess that didn't work out.

Re:Can't wait... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 years ago | (#36674672)

Yes yes, America's Low End Mass produced consumer product is of lower quality the Europe's Mid/Upper range quality products. Everything is better in Europe even the tear gas launched at protesters because your government cannot afford your raise.

It was only a matter of time (1)

cygnwolf (601176) | about 3 years ago | (#36671254)

...before someone thought to use something other than plastic pellets in their RepRap.....

Re:It was only a matter of time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671316)

Up next, printing with water [reprap.org] !

minus 2, TJro7l) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671286)

MakerBot Frostruder (5, Informative)

wjsteele (255130) | about 3 years ago | (#36671300)

So... they made a Frostruder... which you can buy here: http://store.makerbot.com/toolheads/makerbot-frostruder.html [makerbot.com]

Bill

Re:MakerBot Frostruder (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 3 years ago | (#36674022)

If you can make a real chocolate 3D image with *that* I would be very amazed. Temperature control is everything if you are talking chocolate. I don't see very advanced 3D chocolate letters coming anytime soon.

Re:MakerBot Frostruder (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 3 years ago | (#36674302)

Whoops, that would be "advanced 3D chocolate PASTE" letters.

combine chocolate with digital technology? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 3 years ago | (#36671314)

I once added on a hot summer day 100 g of chocolate to my keyboard. bad idea...

Thing-O-Matic has this right? (1)

mrnick (108356) | about 3 years ago | (#36671324)

I recall hearing about a chocolate extruder for http://store.makerbot.com/ [makerbot.com] Thing-O-Matic

Easier and faster? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671326)

Wouldn't it be simpler to make a chocolate CNC? That way you can make a bunch of squares in the background and just feed them into the fairly quick milling part of the machine. Fewer tubes to clean anyways.

Re:Easier and faster? (1)

TDyl (862130) | about 3 years ago | (#36671388)

Yeah, and loads of edible swarf, yummy!

Re:Easier and faster? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36671446)

Wouldn't it be simpler to make a chocolate CNC? That way you can make a bunch of squares in the background and just feed them into the fairly quick milling part of the machine. Fewer tubes to clean anyways.

You would have to freeze it in liquid nitrogen so that it wouldn't smoosh all over. That is how you mill rubber and elastomers in general. No I am not kidding, have not personally done it, but I know people. Get the rubber too cold it'll shatter, its an art form to get it cold enough but not too cold. Rubber machines pretty easily with decent surface finish when properly cooled, but it'll be uneven due to uneven cooling, which probably makes chocolate unusable, because it'll meet dimensional spec but probably look horribly uneven. If you had a magic cryostat to perfectly evenly cool the chocolate overnight, instead of bubba pouring liq N2 everywhere, then, maybe... Condensation is a huge PITA when liq N2 machining rubber and its only going to be worse with chocolate. That and no cutting fluid means edge buildup means, again, horrible surface finish. Then, the water rusts the machines, unless you use soluable coolant, which is at best semi-poisonous or at least not on the GRASS list. CNC chocolate is not gonna work.

CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the USA (4, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36671374)

Scientists in England have developed a 3D chocolate printer

The important part is England. Here in the states this is REALLY old stuff. My mother in law worked at a small bakery in the middle of nowhere a decade ago which had similar machines, that not only squirted chocolate and chocolate frosting, but pretty much all colors of the frosting rainbow. The idea is kids birthday cakes with a licensed TV character made out of chocolate pieces and/or frosting. They also made cool frosting flowers etc on an industrial mass produced scale. Now that I think back, there were three machines, a frosting robot that was vaguely ink-jet-ish in operation including a (then new) windows 95 printer driver and had a huge bed (like sheetcake size), a flower robot which ran under a dos menu system with what a machinist would call a small rotary table, and the chocolate lace robot, don't remember its software, that appears to be what ye limeys have finally reproduced. It was customizable, I believe she once mentioned she could print chocolate lace for wedding cakes with the bride's name knitted into the lace, etc. There was another technology that printed colored sugars, essentially edible cotton candy, that could be applied to cakes for 2-D pictures, almost exactly like laser printer toner is ironed on to etchable PCBs. I have no idea if grannie's bakery was considered leading or trailing edge. Grannie was not exactly a computer scientist, but she none the less used the tools quite effectively.

I haven't talked to her about this stuff in about a decade... Who knows what state of the art in technological cake decoration is like now, probably octopus-like robots with a hundred arms or maybe lasers to carmelize? Maybe realtime taste/smell synthesis while printing, so you can make the frosting rum bottle taste like rum and a frosting whiskey bottle taste like whiskey?

I guess in England it takes scientists with PHDs to re-implement what little old ladies did in the USA decades ago? Next up, English scientists learn how to cook tasty food just like grannie? Or learn to knit?

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671484)

I think you need to pull your head out of your ass.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (1)

quickgold192 (1014925) | about 3 years ago | (#36671488)

I bet her machine didn't do 3D frosting (as in create layers of frosting), which is what's news here. Also, her machine did frosting - not hardened chocolate - which is a whole other challenge.

Of course, as others have pointed out, it has been done before, just not by your grandma.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | about 3 years ago | (#36672578)

Wouldn't it be sort of hard for a physical object, frosting in this case, to exist in anything less than 3 dimensions? Pretty sure even a thin amount of chocolate frosting would have 3 dimensions.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36674544)

I bet her machine didn't do 3D frosting (as in create layers of frosting), which is what's news here. Also, her machine did frosting - not hardened chocolate - which is a whole other challenge.

Of course, as others have pointed out, it has been done before, just not by your grandma.

It did 3d layers. In general, "the cake is a lie", but not this time. Also I mentioned, they had a large sheetcake printer, but they also had a very 3-d robotic flower maker, which couldn't make anything bigger than, say, a drink coaster, as far as I know all it did was make different flower species, but what amazing little flowers it could make... She could mix her flower frosting color to appropriately match the bridesmaid dresses and the robot made flowers that matched the real world floral arrangements, very cool. 3-D frosting printing was common in the 90s, or at least grannie's employer was not amazingly noteworthy, they were just yet another bakery that happened to decorate cakes for weddings and other occasions, nothing terribly unusual or specially marketed. You'd have to ask a real foodie or a chef how popular that robotic stuff was/is, grannie is the only pastry chef I personally know...

And one thing I mentioned in my post was their chocolate lace printer, which is exactly what you claim is "new". I am no cake decorator, but apparently you refrigerate that stuff after it prints, peel it off, and smoosh it into the wedding cake frosting. The point of printing it is about 50% of it doesn't make it in one piece to the cake, you recycle the broken bits, and they had a way to print the brides name or whatever into the lace as it was printed. Also the computer had about one zillion lace designs on disk and at some expense custom lace was possible. Lets say she did 2 fancy cakes per day, that means you need 4 cakes worth of lace in stock due to losses, but there's 100 lace styles, so now you've got to organize 400 sheets in the fridge, if the bride is willing to go "off the rack" as opposed to demanding the chocolate lace match the lace on her dress, and if you can restock more or less daily. Hmm I'm thinking chocolate lace either has to be done by hand (which is very time consuming = expensive) or has to be done by robot, which is how grannies bakery did in the 90s.

The bakery went out of business a couple years after grannie retired; maybe they blew too much money on robot frosting machines, in a world full of $1/day Chinese factories and $20/day illegals. Or maybe it was some other problem.

I googled several terms for robotic frosting equipment, and found absolutely nothing. This has got to be one of those situations where none of us know the French or Italian or Japanese noun to google for. Computery thingies that eat frosting and excrete frosting flowers are/were out there, somewhere, and they're not even remotely new. If only we knew what to google for, there's probably a whole economic ecosystem of these machines. Probably from the same people that make restaurant-grade appliances?

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 3 years ago | (#36671498)

Are you sure the really important part is not perhaps "3D"?
I've seen cakes with all kinds of images printed on them, but all in 2D. They were basically just photographs printed with colored sweet stuff. All 3D things like a wedding couple that you find on a wedding cake were pre-made in factories and placed on top.

-- I'm waiting for a 3D beer printer. Oh, wait, it's called a beer tap.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671508)

USA! USA! USA! Nobody can compare! USA!

Seriously though, a 2D specialised printer hardly compares to a 3D printer. Or are you going to tell me your 2D Inkjet is a match far a 3D printer? Or that CNC can compare to most 3D printing techniques as far as complexity of the resulting model in concerned? Yea ... thought so.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671518)

You should go to the BBC and actually read the article, it's a 3-D printer that uses chocolate not a 2-D one using food dye.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671588)

Yeah but that was using American Chocolate. Not real chocolate.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671790)

to be honest we got bored inventing the TV, Telephone, WWW and the computer, i'd be pretty sure your Grannie's chocolate printer was copied from a similar device we had in Victorian London, saying that as we have the best University in the World, i.e Cambridge, (beats Harvard, Princeton) then i shudder to think what your PHD's are doing if ours are making chocolate

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36672110)

This is all about accurate 3D printing not 2D patterns /lace that happen to have a certain thickness. This is the FIRST alm machine that uses chocolate properly in 3D building the model up layer by layer with specific controls on the heating and cooling of the chocolate so that it doesn't taste like crap like most machines.
Frosting ALM is easy because you don't need to worry about damaging the consistency like chocolate.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36673544)

English scientists learn how to cook tasty food

That would certainly be newsworthy.

Re:CNC frosting / fudge / etc is old stuff in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36685442)

Scientists in England have developed a 3D chocolate printer

The important part is England. Here in the states this is REALLY old stuff. My mother in law worked at a small bakery in the middle of nowhere a decade ago which had similar machines, that not only squirted chocolate and chocolate frosting, but pretty much all colors of the frosting rainbow. The idea is kids birthday cakes with a licensed TV character made out of chocolate pieces and/or frosting. They also made cool frosting flowers etc on an industrial mass produced scale. Now that I think back, there were three machines, a frosting robot that was vaguely ink-jet-ish in operation including a (then new) windows 95 printer driver and had a huge bed (like sheetcake size), a flower robot which ran under a dos menu system with what a machinist would call a small rotary table, and the chocolate lace robot, don't remember its software, that appears to be what ye limeys have finally reproduced. It was customizable, I believe she once mentioned she could print chocolate lace for wedding cakes with the bride's name knitted into the lace, etc. There was another technology that printed colored sugars, essentially edible cotton candy, that could be applied to cakes for 2-D pictures, almost exactly like laser printer toner is ironed on to etchable PCBs. I have no idea if grannie's bakery was considered leading or trailing edge. Grannie was not exactly a computer scientist, but she none the less used the tools quite effectively.

I haven't talked to her about this stuff in about a decade... Who knows what state of the art in technological cake decoration is like now, probably octopus-like robots with a hundred arms or maybe lasers to carmelize? Maybe realtime taste/smell synthesis while printing, so you can make the frosting rum bottle taste like rum and a frosting whiskey bottle taste like whiskey?

I guess in England it takes scientists with PHDs to re-implement what little old ladies did in the USA decades ago? Next up, English scientists learn how to cook tasty food just like grannie? Or learn to knit?

Turns out, this was next:
http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/07/07/1735203/Spanish-Surgeon-Performs-First-Synthetic-Organ-Transplant?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot+%28Slashdot%29

Not first can't spell (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 3 years ago | (#36671480)

As others have noted, this isn't a first. I also noticed that the picture on the BBC site is spelling chocolate as chocalate. Oops.

Re:Not first can't spell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36682502)

It actually says "CHOCALM" - the name of the project that created it

Butter! (1)

Anonymous Cowherd (13230) | about 3 years ago | (#36671546)

Now if someone could make one of these that used butter they could totally own at state fairs across the country!

What if I just printed the word...... (1)

d.the.duck (2100600) | about 3 years ago | (#36671548)

rain. I'd have chocolate rain! BOOYAA!

You wouldn't download a Klondike bar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36671648)

n/t

wife and /. (1)

escalator slinky (2345412) | about 3 years ago | (#36671972)

Now my wife finally has a compelling example of the usefulness of /. articles. What could improve her life more than a 3D chocolate printer?

yawn.. big deal (1)

uncledrax (112438) | about 3 years ago | (#36672124)

OK.. we've had 3d prototyping printers for a while, changing the medium you're prototyping with isn't 'OMG NEWS!' it's 'oh hai, we twiddled some bits and adjusted
some temps.. now it can do chocolate too instead of resin!'
I mean.. MakerBot has been around for 2 years already, and I have demos of industrial Rapid Prototyping machines (a handy working spanner wrench!) for over a decade.

Am I the only person that says 'OK we made 3d printers.. so now we can print almost anything form 3D so long as someone engineers the misc bits'.. want to print outa Steel? can't see why you couldn't, although there are some various engineering feats that need to be worked out, but no reason you couldn't. (and I don't think it'd be as strong as die-cast?).. basic tech adaption shouldn't be the realm of PhDs.. either someone is bored, overeducated, or is just hogging the claim.

Re:yawn.. big deal (1)

frisket (149522) | about 3 years ago | (#36673638)

As someone pointed out above, the 3D is the big deal. This means having a way to solidify the chocolate deposited by one pass before the next pass occurs, otherwise the whole thing becomes one big gloop. I just hope they haven't compromised the quality of the "chocolate" to do this.

Cake Accessories (2)

Huckabees (1929306) | about 3 years ago | (#36672260)

Oh great now I have to wear 3D glasses while eating my cake too?

Where did they get the money for research? (1)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | about 3 years ago | (#36672708)

I could understand the possibility of a commercial company researching this.... because it has potential commercial applications. However, this was done at a university -- an institution of education. How did convince people to give them money to research this? Am I missing something?

Re:Where did they get the money for research? (1)

frisket (149522) | about 3 years ago | (#36673684)

I can't imagine a commercial company spending money on this -- otherwise they would already have done it. Maybe the research was funded by a chocolate company, but breakthroughs in research don't always come from company labs in isolation; it takes partnership with academia where you don't have corporate marketing types breathing down your neck shouting "Is it done yet? Is it done yet?" all day long. The idea that corporate research is in some way "better" than that in universities is a delusion much-loved by American companies.

Re:Where did they get the money for research? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 3 years ago | (#36676228)

Maybe the research was funded by a chocolatier.
Maybe the complexity of achieving the correct temperature for the chocolate to allow it to be used as a building material, instead of clogging the delivery mechanism or flowing away was a non-trivial problem with applications in multiple fields.
Maybe the publicity generated will secure funding for the university and/or increase their student intake.
Maybe the researcher likes chocolate.

What's wrong with researching this? Sure, Fark's probably subtitled it with "Still no cure for cancer" but more esoteric things than this get serious attention.

"chocolate-printer" ... not "chocolate printer" (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 3 years ago | (#36673130)

Note the hyphen. A "chocolate printer" would be a printer made out of chocolate. And that would be news, not this.

Re:"chocolate-printer" ... not "chocolate printer" (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about 3 years ago | (#36675426)

Note the hyphen. A "chocolate printer" would be a printer made out of chocolate. And that would be news, not this.

If they based their design on the self-replicating RepRap [reprap.org] then they should be able to use it to print out a chocolate chocolate-printer.

What I Want... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 3 years ago | (#36673320)

What I want is a Chocolate Printer that would allow me to "print" any chocolate bar in its database - especially including the ones I grew up with that simply aren't available any longer. Of course it would need cartridges holding other than chocolate for the process.

Re:What I Want... (1)

frisket (149522) | about 3 years ago | (#36673730)

Yep. Waiting for the synthesizer that will give me Urney's "Two-and-Two" bars They may actually reappear one day: http://www.urneychocolates.com/index.htm [urneychocolates.com]

Re:What I Want... (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 3 years ago | (#36674284)

They'll taste better in memory.

Sheesh (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 3 years ago | (#36673880)

Chocolate has a lot of social purpose

Things only a scientist would say for $500, Alex.

First published in 2009? (1)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | about 3 years ago | (#36674150)

This guy didn't nearly the amount of press but here's the article from 2009. I've seen on print chocolate at a convention / maker faire before too but I don't know who owned it.

http://builders.reprap.org/2009/03/chocolate-extruder.html [reprap.org]

It would be interesting if they really did reinvent the wheel instead of copying everything that already exists though. Hopefully they will publish their plans.

As much use as a... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about 3 years ago | (#36675362)

After building the printer, they fired up their 3D modelling software, loaded the first demo file they found and proceeded to print out a chocolate teapot.

Perhaps they should have taken the hint?

3d printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676570)

I thought it was called a mold?

Not news, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36680954)

This was an undergraduate project started in my final year at Exeter.

For an undergrad project I thought it was pretty impressive; an ALM machine made from scratch (including control system, and chocolate melting facilities) in a year by a few undergrads. Chocolate is not an easy material to work with. I forget what few details I knew, but basically getting layers of molten chocolate to join together and be in the correct polymorph is not easy. (hence the addition of what appear to be heating or cooling nozzles in the image in the article).

Liang Hao was the project supervisor then, and I assume he's the supervisor now. I don't think this is his main area of research!

Not sure why it's popped up in the media now; it's certainly not news (although the BBC has recently covered (badly IMHO) some other ALM stuff).

Obligatory model (1)

mcmire (1152897) | about 3 years ago | (#36700104)

Chocolate Aperture Science Companion Cube... "You ate your companion cube faster than any other test subject on record."
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...