A great number of chocolatiers, innovators, educators and members of the 3D printing community will always remember 2016 as the year of extraordinary advances in 3D chocolate printing.
Although the Choc Creator V2.0 Plus was released with a focus on the capability of quickly and easily printing 2D customized graphics, 2016 saw the focus shift towards true direct 3D printing. Despite the extra time and effort required to design and print 3D objects, our users are now creating their own 3D works of art for customers, demonstrations at events, and to use as display pieces in their stores. It's a truly wonderful feeling to know that we've inspired so many people to study 3D modelling and chocolate-making this year.
To both demonstrate and validate our methodologies for direct 3D chocolate printing, we put together the world's first library of 3D chocolate prints. The library features both figurative and abstract art, with an emphasis on the romance that often accompanies a gift of chocolate given on Valentine's Day, birthdays, weddings and other special occasions.
The Choc Edge design team were themselves inspired by everything from classical art to contemporary architecture, and they aimed to give every design a signature uniform look that is undoubtedly a product of the Choc Creator V2.0 Plus. The purpose of the 3D library is to inspire others to create their own works using similar shapes and structures, and it has also proven helpful to provide users with tried and tested designs for printing practice. We will, of course, keep adding to both our 2D and 3D library in the new year.
We've participated in some fantastic events this year, and we'd like to say a special thanks to the iMakr Store in London for all their support during the incredibly successful evening show held in back in March.
This year has also seen some major changes and improvements to both our customer service system and the way we convey important information to new customers. These improvements include the use of video calling for one-to-one consultations, direct contacts for design or technical support departments, and the release of an extended version of our FAQ (known as the '3D Chocolate Printing Guide') which covers everything about the 3D chocolate printing process.
On a more personal note, one of the key members of our administrative team, the invaluable Jane, was recently blessed with the addition of a bouncing baby boy to her family and is now taking a little time away from the office - We wish her all the best.
What's in store for 2017?
One piece of exciting news is that we expect to have more distributors than ever before, so the possibility of seeing a live demonstration of the Choc Creator V2.0 Plus in your locale will soon greatly increase. The 3D chocolate printing community is growing everyday, and rather than travelling internationally for short-term events, we are now encouraging our distributors and affiliates to get involved with events in their locale, which we hope will create a real sense of community that will raise the profile of 3D chocolate printing across the globe.
Now that both 2D and 3D chocolate printing are almost equally mature with sound design and printing methodologies, we expect to see even more amazing works of chocolate art being produced by our users.
In short, we're looking forward to another busy year providing solutions and sharing the knowledge of our experts.
Many thanks to all our users, distributors, contributors and followers - We hope that 2017 is just as exciting and productive for all of us!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.