Jonathan Keep, a pottery artist based in the UK, has created a home DIY chocolate printer. Keep developed the Delta Ceramic 3D printer and turned his attention to the medium of chocolate. 3D printing with chocolate can be a challenge because it requires accurate temperature and viscosity controls. Keep replaced the extruder on his 3D printer with syringe that uses air pressure from an attached bicycle pump and soda bottle.
For those interested in creating original chocolate creations at home, Keep explains how to do it. “Predicting that liquid chocolate would not need much pressure to extrude I abandoned my normal studio air compressor and cobbled together a fizzy drinks bottle compressed air system. I believe a fizzy drinks bottle can withstand up to 6 Bar of pressure so with my bicycle pump and only pressurizing the system to 1 Bar it was not stressing too much. The pressure needed to extrude the chocolate as I turned up the regulator did not register on the pressure gage, so I cannot say what it was, but the rate of flow was controllable. One priming of the fizz bottle with the bicycle pump was enough pressure for a syringe of chocolate. I began printing onto cling film, then gloss card, on top of a ceramic tile that I had put into the deep freeze. This was to help re-solidify the chocolate as it printed.”
Watch the video below to see how the chocolate extrusion works.