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Jun 2, 2016

Here at Choc Edge we're always looking to improve the experience of our customers, whether that's through upgrading the machine itself or the software that comes with it. We're pleased to announce exciting new developments in both areas – Wi-Fi connectivity to control the printer without the need for a cable, and a mobile drawing app that allows you to instantly print your own designs.


Wi-Fi

With the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity Choc Creator users will now be able to connect their computers wirelessly to the printer. Previously to connect a PC or laptop to the Choc Creator a lead was necessary. This is great for users who wish to operate the printer via their computer in a kitchen environment where it might not always be convenient to use electronic devices like laptops. All future Choc Creators shipped will feature Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Choc Creator also has a USB port allowing G-codes to be loaded via memory stick if a computer connection is not needed.

Choc Draw

Earlier this year Choc Edge released its web-based text and design customisation tools to its customers, now a new mobile app is available which enables users to create their own artistic designs and print them instantly.

Choc Draw is available for customers with Android tablets and connects wirelessly with the Choc Creator. Using a stylus the user can create a unique design in the app which can then be printed instantly. To make it easier to create designs such as portraits it is possible to add semi-transparent background images to make tracing easy.

Using single-line printing technology the app is ideal for anyone who wants to create repeatable artistic chocolate designs.

 

For more information on these developments or to order a Choc Creator 2.0 Plus please contact our sales team at sales@chocedge.com.

May 21, 2016

A few months ago Choc Edge was approached to get involved with the BBC Radio 1 Academy in Exeter. This was an exciting opportunity as Choc Edge began at Exeter University and the theme of the week-long series of workshops for 16-19 year olds was creativity, something which is very important to Choc Edge.

We agreed to spend a day at the Academy showing the bright young people there the Choc Creator, allowing them to try the machine and get their name printed in chocolate using our web-based apps. We also offered to do something special with one of the DJs.

The BBC wanted to get one of the DJs to do something fun with 3D printing, so we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to show off not only our popular 2D chocolate portraits, but also our more recent experiments with 3D printing chocolate heads. So in addition to preparing portraits from photographs of the DJs who were at the event we also got daytime DJ Scott Mills scanned with the help of Exeter's Fab Lab, and then created a 3D printed chocolate head.

 

Scott Mills getting 3D scanned by Fab Lab Devon

 

Although we only had a few hours to process the scan, optimise it for chocolate printing, and print it before heading down to Exeter's Phoenix Centre to set up, we managed to print three heads successfully – two high resolution ones using a 0.4mm nozzle, and one slightly bigger but lower resolution chocolate head using a 0.8mm nozzle.

The largest finished head was about 3.5cm high, and while it might have been possible to produce a larger one there wasn't enough time to properly experiment. We decided it was best to go for a guaranteed result which was still a recognisable reproduction of Scott's head in chocolate.

 

The Choc Creator V2.0+ printing Scott Mills' chocolate 3D head

 

On the day the heads weren't revealed to Scott until the show, making it a surprise for him live on air. After the initial reveal both Scott and his co-host Chris ate the chocolate heads noting the good likeness and great taste. The small size of the chocolate head provided a source of comedy on air, although everyone was made aware beforehand of how big they would be.

 

Scott Mills eating chocolate Scott on air

 

After the tasting Scott's crew posted an image of him and his chocolate head on Twitter, to 2.65m followers, which proved popular and was their most liked tweet of the day. 

 

  

We also managed to snap a picture of Greg James with his face portrait. 

 

Greg James with his 2D chocolate portrait

 

While there's clearly room for improvement with our 3D chocolate heads, it was great to be able to share this exciting development with the young people at the Academy and the BBC Radio 1 audience. Hopefully we've inspired a few people to do creative things with chocolate and technology, and with their own Choc Creators. You can download the whole show and hear Scott tasting his chocolate head here.

If you'd like to print your own heads or faces in chocolate why not contact our sales team to find out more about using the Choc Creator and how to order.

 

 

May 6, 2016

Experimenting is a big part of what we do here at Choc Edge, finding out what works and what doesn't when creating unique objects in chocolate. Often a new experiment will be started as a result of a request from a potential customer.

Recently we got asked if it was possible to scan and 3D print bobbleheads in chocolate. It was an idea we hadn't tried before but it sounded like fun and something there might be more demand for. So we went out and got a Star Wars bobblehead (we had to settle for Poe Dameron as they were all out of Reys) and armed ourselves with a Sense 3D scanner.

 

 

We tried covering the model in tape to eliminate the issues of overhanging areas that wouldn't print. This proved to be effective and was quicker than it would have been to sculpt out the model in a program like Blender or Mesh Mixer. The tape was a good choice as it created a nice smooth slanting edge that is perfectly suited to chocolate printing.

 

 

The images below show that while it is possible, the maximum height of the models the Choc Creator V2.0 Plus can print and the lack of colour information make it difficult to create a recognisable reproduction. If you were to somehow add the decals onto the chocolate model it would start to look a lot more like the original bobblehead.

 

 

It was a useful experiment and another good example of the difference between printing with a 0.8mm nozzle and a 0.4mm one. At 0.4mm you can start to see the contours of the model more clearly and it becomes more recognisable. The model was printed at about 40mm in height – the maximum height it is possible to print with the Choc Creator.

 

 

As far as our experiments go we'd call this one a success – the results might not make for the best end product but the print itself was as good a representation of the original model in chocolate as it's possible for us to get.

 

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