ocoa Press has announced a 3D printer with a inequity — this one prints in chocolate rather than plastic.
The Cocoa Press printer is not the first chocolate 3D printer we gain seen, but this one is capable of some seriously intricate designs, and is priced within the reach of small businesses and those willing to spend gigantic on their hobbies. Cocoa Press printer packages start at $1,499 (roughly £1,245).
It works much like a normal 3D printer in most respects. Any designs you want to turn into chocolate are broken down into thin layers and the Cocoa Press builds up your creations using a fine nozzle that extrudes the chocolate.
How does a chocolate 3D printer work?
The biggest a single piece of sculpture can be is 140 x 150 x 150mm, and Cocoa Press offers a gallery of designs you can try out — or you can design your own using 3D-modelling software.
Cocoa Press also sells its own 70g chocolate cores, used to design 3D-printed models. While you can create your own chocolate formulations, they need to be bubble-free to work properly.
This is also where the Cocoa Press separates from a normal 3D printer – the entire cartridge of chocolate is kept melted during the printing process, while a standard 3D printer only heats at the nozzle.
Examples shown on the Cocoa Press website include a 3D jigsaw-like sculpture, mini chocolate bars with messages and company logos printed on, and more advanced models like a miniature boat and hyper-detailed fish.
The Cocoa Press is the creation of Ellie Weinstein, who began work on the project in 2014 while at high school in Philadelphia.
Initial orders are only open to folks in the US and Canada, but the Cocoa Press website suggests this will be opened up after the initial batch ships in September 2023.
It might be best to wait a while anyway, as the cheaper kits initially available to order from April 17 are intended for 3D printing veterans. They are DIY kits that involve you 3D printing some of the components yourself.
If the thought of a 3D chocolate printer has your interest, you might want to hold a survey at a model you can buy now, in the UK, like the MyCuisini V2. This chocolate 3D printer can’t design structures closely as large as the Cocoa Press, but does at least adjacent pre-built.