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Moulding chocolate by using plastic or silicone moulds is nothing new, in fact, the art has been around for many years. Moulds can only make one set chocolate shape and you need many different moulds to create differently shaped chocolates.

Combine chocolate moulding and today’s 3D printer technology and you have a match made in heaven, for chocolate lovers who love to make their own little special creation.

The 3D Chocolate Printer was developed by University of Exeter researchers and works the similarly to how a normal 3D printer does; by printing layers of chocolate instead of ink or plastic. It starts out like any other 3D printer, printing a cross-section of the final product in layers, one at a time. Single layers of chocolate are printed, and once a layer is completed, it is left to solidify. The machine moves onto the next layer as soon as the previous layer is solid.

The device is now still in its prototype stages, but perhaps when it is complete it will find its place in restaurants and confectionery shops, churning out personalised chocolates for the customers.

The developers of the device says that they want to bring the device onto the internet, by creating a chocolate-oriented online community that enables its users to share designs and ideas.

I really like this chocolate printer, since I’m a big fan of chocolate, although I don’t really fancy making my own chocolates, this will certainly ease up the process. I wonder if it will become popular enough to be used in restaurants and confectioneries in the future.