Feb 28, 2016 | By Benedict

Candylicious, a store in Dubai Mall, is selling what could be the world’s first on-demand 3D printed candy. The store’s new “Magic Candy Factory”, developed by Katjes, consists of two 3D printers which can create customized candies in under 5 minutes.

Katjes, a popular German candy manufacturer, has long been at the forefront of the burgeoning 3D printed candy scene. Last summer, the company opened its first Magic Candy Factory at a Berlin café. That special 3D printer was able to produce 3D printed wine gums, but the German snack specialist has since broadened its sugary horizons. In January of this year, the company announced that it was developing advanced 3D design software for an all-new Magic Candy Factory, one which would allow for total customization of its 3D printed candies.

That additive candy manufacturing has now become a reality, with Katjes installing an all-new Magic Candy Factory at the Candylicious store in Dubai Mall. The “factory” consists of a pair of high-tech 3D printers, each of which can produce customized sweet treats in a matter of minutes.

“You get varied tastes and nationalities in Dubai and therefore it was perfect for us to partner with Candylicious,” said Melissa Snover, Managing Director of Katjes Fassin UK Ltd. “The people of Dubai have a ‘sweet tooth’ and are always interested in the latest tech innovations—a great place to present the Magic Candy Factory.”

Unlike the previous Magic Candy Factory in Berlin, customers now have total control over their 3D printed creations. Katjes’ new 3D design software enables customers to tinker with their design until they have assembled the perfect 3D candy. The 3D design app has been made incredibly user-friendly, so it can be used by both children and adults.

“The design process is optimized on an iPad app, so the customer can come in, write words, draw a picture, choose from a variety of shapes, or combine any of those elements,” explained Snover. “As soon as they’ve finished doing that, the candy takes 3-5 minutes.”

To produce 3D printed candies is no easy task, and a lot of hard work has gone into perfecting both the 3D printers and edible printing materials used in the Magic Candy Factory. The 3D printing process employed by the Factory is much like that of regular plastic 3D printers, so Katjes needed an edible substance whose properties were similar to those of plastic filament.

“The Magic Candy Factory has to use a very special recipe because we need the candies to dry fast enough in order to make layers,” said Snover. “We developed a pectin-based fruit recipe. It’s vegan, all-natural, free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and nuts, and it’s safe for halal and kosher diets. We use only fruit purees like blackcurrant, raspberry, mango, and strawberry, glucose that comes from fruits and vegetables, and citric acid. That’s it!”

Katjes hopes that its Magic Candy Factory will encourage customers to become more interested in 3D printing and the processes behind food manufacturing.

“The benefit of the experience for the whole family is that children and adults can learn about the technology of 3D printing, ingredients in food and making their own choices—the effect is better levels of knowledge which enhances both lifestyle and health.”

The 3D printed candies created on the Magic Candy Factory can also double up as something else entirely: “The customer can fill up a 8x5cm sheet of candy paper, so the actual placement of the candy is on an edible card as well,” explained Snover. “You can therefore create edible greetings cards!”

At present, Katjes is focusing on 3D printed fruit gums only, and has no plans to introduce a chocolate-extruding 3D printer. This may come as a blow to additive-loving chocoholics, but Katjes has exciting news for sweet-toothed US residents: The next Magic Candy Factory will be unveiled at a US store in May.

The Magic Candy Factory at Candylicious, Dubai, will commence operations on Monday, February 29.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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