Although they just missed Easter, a UK company called Choc Edge is now selling the world's only commercial chocolate printer. The idea behind the printer is similar to that of a MakerBot, but instead of plastics, the "Choc Creator Version 1" extrudes chocolate. Choc Edge, on its website, bills the Choc Creator as a "simple, yet versatile desktop 3D chocolate printer." Those who purchase a Choc Creator can look forward to printing their own patterns, uploaded from their own computers through a usb cord.
From the Choc Edge website:
Choc Creator utilizes an easy-to-use syringe based chocolate deposition head which allows users to rapidly install and remove syringe head units. The design enables users to refill the syringe with fresh chocolate or different types of chocolates conveniently. Key features of Choc Creator are simplicity, versatility, flexibility, and reliability.
The printer costs £2,888 (around $4,600), but if you purchase one of the first 90 Choc Creators you only have to pay a discounted £2,488 (about $3,900). Plus shipping. Talk about sticker shock. Choc Edge will, though, accept a £746.40 (about $1,200) deposit through PayPal with the remainder due in 9-12 weeks when the printer is ready to ship. Ten of the printers will be auctioned off on ebay, and each one comes with a 2% income share in all the Choc Creators sold during the first year of availability.
Here's one of the printers in action and, yes, it does seem loud and slow. But just think of all the geeky things you could print and give your Valentine next Easter.