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3D Chocolate - by Pamela Mukwenha

iFriday, Sep 5th, 2014 comments by MariamO

A few months ago, America’s largest confectionery treats producer company, Hershey, announced its partnership with 3D printing solutions company, 3D Systems, to produce delectable three dimensional chocolate treats and sweets. The multi-year agreement will have 3D Systems working with Hershey to come up with new ways of delivering 3D-printed food to consumers.

Three dimensional chocolate products are created by melting, tempering and depositing chocolate onto a substrate in two-dimensional layers as narrow as 0.05mm. Chocolate is a notoriously difficult material to 3D print, due to issues of temperature control and adequate viscosity of the material. For some, their 3D printers use an ink jet print head to paint water over a fine layer of sugar, which hardens and recrystalizes the sugar into complex geometric shapes. 

William Papa, Vice President and Chief Research and Development Officer of The Hershey Company, said in a public media statement, “Whether it’s creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future.”

The Hershey – 3D Systems 3D chocolate partnership made a lot of people stop and take notice. Why? Because you have a Fortune 500 company and a large respected corporation in the 3D world making something most people have never heard of – 3D Chocolate.

The 3D printed food trend has been gaining a lot of momentum lately all around the world and all around the world companies from South Africa to America. Right here in South Africa, 3D Chocolate has been a reality for a few years now but with little recognition.

According to Frost and Sullivan, chocolate is a R6 billion industry, growing at an estimated 10% every year.

In South Africa Hans Fouche (an engineer and former designer of Formula One cars) and Nicolette Fouche have been making 3D chocolates and cake decorations for years in their very own chocolate factory.

If you want a unique chocolate sculpture and conversation pieces for your special occasion made using 3D technology Fouche Chocolates has been designing and building it. To find out more about Fouche Chocolates read Adam Oxford’s article and interview South Africa’s own Willy Wonka and the 3D printed chocolate factory at

In 2013, Nestle and the Museum of African Design called on Fouche Chocolates to help produce a series of 3D printed chocolate sculptures for an exhibition in the Maboneng Precinct. Nestlé South Africa in November 2013 in launched a 3D-printed chocolate exhibition. Chocnology went on show at the Museum of African Design in Johannesburg, was held in conjunction with Google, which had launched Android “KitKat”, version 4.4 of its operating system for mobile devices.

The exhibition showcased original sculptures designed by 10 South African artists made entirely out of chocolate, using Android KitKat as their inspiration, and printed using a 3D printer.

Chocnology Johannesburg,South Africa

Maslow Reconstructed by Orijin

Battle Kat by Am I collective

In January 2014 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, 3D Systems unveiled the Chef Jet and the Chef Jet Pro. Both of these machines will be aimed at the professional baker, the restaurant chef and the chocolatier for now. They are currently scheduled to be released in the second half of 2014.


In February 2014, right in time for Valentine’s Day, 3D Print Expo and Conference in Moscow, the 3D Print in Russia hosted a Chocolate Festival where budget Chocolate 3D printers were presented.

By: Pamela Mukwenha

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