Aug 31, 2015 | By Alec

Image credit: RT

Though food 3D printing is being feverously pursued by manufacturers from all over the world, could it be the good old fashioned German industrious spirit that again wins the competition? After recently seeing what the amazing Bocusini 3D printer (scheduled for an early 2016 release) can do, German candy manufacturer Katjes has unveiled the Magic Candy Factory, the world’s first commercial winegum 3D printer, in the Grün-Ohr café in Berlin. Customers are invited to choose the color and shape of their own 3D printed candy there, with the goal being that this 3D printer will become commonplace in shopping malls and theme parks everywhere.

While Katjes might not be very well known internationally, they are typically seen as the third largest candy manufacturer in Germany (after Haribo and Storck), and regularly shows that they support the innovative Food Revolution that many critics have found in Berlin. And with this new innovative machine (unveiled on Friday 28 August in the café on the Rosenthaler Strasse), they are expecting to have another innovative hit on their hands.

And why shouldn’t they? The Magic Candy Factory has some very interesting commercial functions. Instead of complex computing, customers are presented with a simple intuitive screen in which they can select the shape, taste and color they want, and can watch the winegum material being extruded right in front of their eyes in about five minutes or so. Among the options are letters (even names) and animals like frogs, butterflies and more. App-based ordering is also possible. While not yet as detailed as a mold-cast winegum, it does offer customers a lot of fun customization options. Prices depend on the option chosen, and are in the region between the five and ten euros.

It is the first winegum 3D printer in the world, and all thanks to Katjes’ custom-made quick-drying winegum ‘filament’ that not only extrudes well, but is also quickly ready for consumption. The manufacturers say its ingredients are all natural (vegan) and free of lactose and gluten. As the Magic Candy Factory’s Managing Director Melissa Snover explains, the machine is also very easy to operate thanks to a set of pre-made cartridges that are simply placed in the extruder. The 3D printer then does the rest. ‘The chamber itself… is heated, to ensure that the material is kept at the correct temperature. This is the Magic Candy Factory, the world first ever 3D printer for fruit gums and also the first printer for food to reach the consumer market,’ she proudly adds.’

Of course, as is evident in the 3D printing quality, this machine is still a beta version, but a very exciting one nonetheless. Its manufacturer’s goal is not just to innovate and one-up their competitors, but they say that customization will become a big part of candy consumption in the near future. Among the applications envisioned for later versions of the Magic Candy Factory is therefore also an exciting option such as 3D printing your own head in winegum material. Individualization, they say, is entering every sphere of life and therefore also that of candy. And 3D printing, evidently, is a perfect medium for realizing it. 

Images: artschoolvets


Posted in 3D Printers



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