One of the most time consuming things at this time of year (at least for me) is all the baking, cooking, and candy making that comes along with the holiday season. If you're in the same boat or know someone who is (and has lot of cash to throw around), then this is perfect for you.
A team in the UK has developed the Choc Creator V1, a 3D printer that uses chocolate to create intricate designs instead of plastic, like most 3D printers. Using the same technique as regular 3D printing, also known as Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM), the printer is filled with tempered chocolate and 'prints' onto a substrate material, the same way a regular printer prints a 2D image onto paper, the Choc Edge website explains. The design, which is input from a CAD data source, is created by building up the design layer-by-layer until a three-dimensional design is achieved.
You can watch the technology at work here, creating one of Choc Edge's holiday designs:
The Choc Edge company was founded by Dr. Liang Hao from the University of Exeter after the team created a prototype which attracted the attention of retailers.
"We've improved and simplified the machine, so now it's really easy to use," Dr. Hao said to the BBC. "You just need to melt some chocolate, fill a syringe that is stored in the printer, and get creative printing your chocolate."
While many of the designs available through Choc Edge right now are intricate holiday designs, the possibilities for what you can print are impressive. According to the Choc Edge website, the team recently was featured on an episode of Gadget Man, hosted by Stephen Fry. The printer was part of a high-tech dinner party, and was used to create chocolate portraits of the dinner guests.
Who would love this: Chocolate lovers who are looking for a new way to enjoy their favourite treat, or who want to make extremely unique gifts for friends and family.
How much it costs: Alas, having your own 3D chocolate printer doesn't come cheap; the Choc Creator V1 will run you £2,888, or about $4,605 Canadian dollars. If you just want a taste (ha!) of what 3D printed chocolate is like, you can always purchase one of the company's own chocolate designs. They'll only run you £17.99 (about $28 CAD).
Where to get it: Available only through the Choc Edge website.
Must-Have Monday is a new feature on the Yahoo! Canada News' Right Click blog, where we share a cool gadget each week. We're not paid to endorse any of these — it's just stuff we'd probably buy if someone handed us a pile of money.
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