Apr 14, 2017 | By Tess
While Belgium is home to the EU, Trappist breweries, and the Flemish language, the small European nation is perhaps best known for its excellent mastery of chocolate. Its chocolate industry, which has been internationally recognized since about the 19th century, turns out mouth-watering chocolate truffles, pralines, and exquisitely designed chocolate figurines.
Considering the country’s rich chocolate heritage, it is no surprise that Belgium has also been at the forefront of 3D printed chocolate in today's technological age. One particular 3D printed chocolate venture recently caught our eye, and it is arguably one of the best examples of 3D printed sweets we’ve ever seen.
Miam Factory founder Gaetan Richard
Called Miam Factory, this Gembloux-based startup was founded as a spinoff from the University of Liege’s Smart Gastronomy Lab, which is dedicated to researching new food and drink technology. The gastronomic lab is equipped with lots of intriguing tools, including an arsenal of four specialized food and chocolate 3D printers.
It was presumably after seeing the amazing potential of 3D printed chocolate that the lab’s researchers started Miam Factory, as the startup is now working to turn out various 3D printed chocolate objects, as well as to engrave and customize macaroons for the clients.
3D printed bottle for Bertinchamps
Most recently, Bertinchamps, a local brewery, asked Miam Factory to produce customized beer bottle-shaped chocolates to be given out as prizes for its annual Easter egg hunt. The edible bottles—which look flawless in our opinion—were built up layer by layer (0.2 mm layers to be exact) using a specialized 3D printer at Miam Factory’s facility.
Impressively, the Bertinchamps bottles took under three hours to print and used a total of 24.6 meters of chocolate to produce. As you can see in the photos, the chocolate bottles look about as fragile as glass, but are still mouthwatering. The best part? Miam Factory’s 3D printed chocolate is ready to eat right off the print bed.
Launched in October 2016 by Gaetan Richard, Miam Factory has already been filling orders from hotels, businesses, and even individuals. Customers can choose to have their chocolates personalized using 3D printing or laser engraving, and can choose from either dark, milk, or white chocolate. Obviously, costs vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the order.
While we kind of wish we had heard of Miam Factory in time to order some custom 3D printed Easter chocolates for ourselves, we will definitely be keeping the Belgian startup in mind for our next chocolatey cravings.
(Images: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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