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Making Scott Mills – A 3D Printed Head for BBC's Radio 1 Academy

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.

 

 

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