Edible 3D printed creations are no longer just something you wish for after watching a few episodes of Star Trek. 3D printed popsicles are available, and let’s not forget about the Magic Candy Factory, the world’s first 3D gummy candy printer. Joining the sweet 3D printed food revolution is Belgian company Callebaut, part of the Barry Callebaut Group, which is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa, and Dutch 3D printing company byFlow, known for its foldable, multi-material Focus 3D printer. The two are teaming up to develop a revolutionary 3D chocolate printer, and recently had the chance to demonstrate their prototype to some very important people: Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.
The king and queen were on a state visit to the Netherlands, and toured the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, the center for technology-enabled innovation in the Netherlands, and home to over 140 companies and institutes, including byFlow. The Digital Innovation & Sustainability Forum was taking place on the last day of the state visit, and the king and queen stopped at byFlow for a visit. The company, along with Callebaut, introduced King Philippe and Queen Mathilde to their delicious world of 3D chocolate printing. The King met with and listened to the role each team member played in this collaboration, and afterwards, the 3D chocolate printer prototype was demonstrated, shining a light on the unique and tasty technology.
“For us, this collaboration is a next step in our more than 100 year old traditional crafting methods, and a great extension to the creativity of all chocolate professionals. Finest Belgian chocolate is hip and happening. More than ever it is a love brand that people all around the world cherish, and where chefs rely on every day in their kitchens. With the 3D chocolate printer, we can combine our rich legacy in chocolate making with the technologies of tomorrow. It is a very exciting venture to be able to create new experiences with one of Belgium’s most famous products: chocolate,” said Pascale Meulemeester, VP Global Gourmet at Barry Callebaut.
The visit was also the perfect opportunity for byFlow to showcase the new Focus 3D printer. A year-long redesign was just completed, based on feedback from the printer’s first users, and the updated version, which is already sold out for 2016, offers everything you can imagine:
- printheads and syringes that are easy to exchange in just seconds
- foldable, so it’s easy to carry and store
- WiFi, which means no more pesky driver installation
- intuitive color touchscreen
In addition to common plastics like PLA, ABS, and nylon, the Focus can also print with bio-rubber, wood, bronze, glass, clay, porcelain, and silicon. It’s important to mention that the Focus was the first printer in the world capable of printing edible materials like chocolate, hummus, meat, and even goat cheese! Everyone, from the most basic skill level to the most advanced, can 3D print dinner table accessories like vases, napkin-rings, and plates using the Focus (you can see videos here with some examples).
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were presented with the 3D printed chocolate at the end of their lunch at High Tech Campus Eindhoven. But what was even more special was the shape of the chocolate itself: it was 3D printed in honor of the king, in the shape of his head!
Nina Hoff, the CEO of byFlow, said, “We were of course very honored by the royal visit, and grateful for the opportunity to introduce the many possibilities of 3D printing to King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. Together with Callebaut, we are writing a unique story and we really hope many more people will be part of it in the future.”
Callebaut has been crafting chocolate for over 100 years, and is one of the rare chocolate makers that selects, roasts, and grinds cacao beans into its own secret, exclusive cocoa mass. With the help of byFlow and the Focus 3D printer, the company is blending its traditional chocolate making craftsmanship with the newest technology available, to help shape the chocolate experience of tomorrow for all our taste buds. Discuss in the 3D Chocolate Printer forum at 3DPB.com.