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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Wednesday August 25, 2004
10:18 AM

printing chocolate

[ #20563 ]

So we were experimenting with printing chocolate. The first experiment (as photographed by Mark) showed that the prototype Lego chocolate pump works quite well, but that Green & Blacks diluted with water really isn't something that you want to eat.

Experiment 2 (not online) was more successful (hotter chocolate, in this case Marks & Spencer Swiss dark chocolate) but we found that it was producing really long strands [er, "logs" :-)] hanging down from the end of the print head, and so didn't produce nice blobs on the printout. We can produce lines of chocolate more effectively, so maybe we should be concentrating on chocolate plotters rather than chocolate printers, but "pen up" is clearly still a problem. So does anyone have any suggestions on good ways to cause the chocolate to drop off in smaller, cleaner blobs.

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  • Please tell me... why on Earth are you doing that? :-)
    • Because we want to make a machine to print chocolate. There are various things we can do once we perfect the chocolate printing head, and I'm most intrested by doop [earth.li]'s suggestion of 4 colour printing. Hence the white chocolate visible in one of the shots, and the two bottles of food colouring visible in a couple of the others. We'll start with spot colour printing, and red + yellow gives the first colour we need to try. Obviously :-)

  • Aside from the first experiment looking a poop press...think about this...2D LICKABLE PICTURES IN MUTLICOLOUR CHOCOLATE! Think of the possibilities! Send a lurid picture of yourself to someone that they can lick! :D Hmm...
    • Apparently there's this firm called fotango that already offers printing onto chocolate [fotango.com] for under 10 Earth pounds(*). I've not tried it, but I suspect that they print onto chocolate, whereas we'd like to print in chocolate so that the picture goes right through. [Although it's going to easier to slice seaside rock across the grain than a flat piece of chocolate, and I suspect that the fotango service gives much better print qualitity than we ever will. But we get to eat the experimental results until we get

  • You might want to buy a set of LEGO Mindsorms and write a CUPS driver for that.

    There is also LEGO::RCX on CPAN.

    Seriously, chocolate printing is wicked cool.
    • We've already bought 1 set of Lego Mindstorms, but James has requisitioned all the motors and sensors for his stuff. So we're wondering if you can buy more motors and sensors without all the rest. Or whether Lego have twigged that the best thing to do is get people to pay for a whole second set. Annoyingly the Midstorms set (and the other recent technical Lego set we bought) is sorely lacking in the basic Lego parts, and old fashioned technical beams. In place it has all there new-fangled bars with holes in

      • In place it has all there new-fangled bars with holes in, some bent, which are much harder to use to make regular things. Or maybe we're just old dogs who can't grasp new tricks, and our minds are unable to shake off the training of the original technical Lego, and children younger than us would have no problem.

        Having a lot of Lego and two kids who play a lot with it, I can assure you that they also prefer the old-style lego blocks. (see here [domm.zsi.at] and here [domm.zsi.at])

        One can build nicer-looking stuff with the new tec

        • Most interesting. IIRC you (well they) had both the official castle lego (with the large wall slabs) and the pirate lego. But the castle and the ship there are built with the regular blocks. Mmm, and it looks like duplo for castle walls, which actually seems like most appropriate choice - with walls that thick besieging Lego armies are going to have a tough time breaking through.

  • WOW! Where can I join this chocolat worshipping religion? I can provide proof of my addiction, if needed!
  • I've just realised that the acmecam [astray.com] is visible in the top right of the first picture [twoshortplanks.com]. "Built on the Fotango technology platform." As is the print head - it uses about 18 layers of Fotango tape to move the tube up close enough to the bars on the pump.