Sep.27, 2013

An Austin startup 'Piq Chocolates', founded by local entrepreneur and engineer Levi Lalla and Donovan Crowley, wants to bring their clients' Chocolates to life. Customers can submit their idea and design to Piq Chocolates, and Lalla and Crowley will source the chocolate and create them on their 3D printers.

Customers can not only try out Piq Chocolates' custom creation tool to create personalized chocolate bars embossed with image or logo, but also just submit their ideas to the team. The chocolate will either be printed on a 3D chocolate printer Lalla built a year ago, or be made using 3D printed molds for finer details.

"My quest for custom shaped chocolate began when I was an undergraduate at MIT, when I had the strange idea to create a pure chocolate working grandfather's clock." says Lalla. "School work and a limited budget did not let this project get much further than the conceptual phase, but the idea always stuck with me. After working at a small engineering services company for a few years prototyping various products, I found myself coming back to this idea of personalized and custom shaped chocolates, so after a few months of prototyping a chocolate 3d printer piq Chocolates was started in January 2013. I often get asked, 'How did you go from prototyping electro-mechanical systems to starting a chocolate company?' They may seem different, but they actually have a lot in common."

Currently Piq Chocolates has only one tool for customers to design a chocolate bar with up to three images and three messages. When business expands, the startup hopes to add more tools and an in-browser design tool to the website, as well as increase the speed of chocolate production.

"We can only fill one or two orders a week because we don't have access to all the equipment we need," Lalla said to "Certain chocolates flow better. A milk chocolate, with higher cocoa butter ratios, will flow better. Thicker chocolates, the darker chocolates with less cocoa butter, are harder to push through small openings, so you end up with larger details."

Watch video below Levi Lalla at piq Chocolates teams up with Daniel Heron at Tech Ranch Austin, exploring the relationship of technology and food production.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Z wrote at 2/6/2014 11:38:42 PM:

Bone shapes? Warning: chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats!!

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