Jun 5, 2017 | By David

When it comes to developing new things for us to eat and new ways to eat them, 3D printing technology has certainly been on the menu for a while now. 3DSystems’ Foodjet, the first 3D food printer, was launched back in 2014; pastry extruders are available as optional extras for a number of desktop 3D printers; and we’ve reported before on efforts by a team at Columbia to develop a 3D printer that can also cook your food. At the less nutritious but still tasty and fun end of the spectrum, a platform called Pixsweet is now offering users the chance to design their own 3D printed popsicles.

Pixsweet was founded by Finnish 3D printing expert Janne Kyttanen, whose 3D printing resumé covers everything from fashion to design. His company, Freedom of Creation, procuces all kinds of exclusive 3D printed items, from jewellery to footwear to furniture.

After Freedom of Creation was acquired by 3D Systems, Kyttanen moved to L.A. and set up What The Future Venture Capital with Dutch investor Eduard Zanen. This start-up / investment firm aimed to identify new business ideas, with a particular focus on the most cutting-edge technologies like 3D printing and virtual reality, and create them as quickly as possible. Pixsweet, which was launched last year, has been one of the company’s success stories.

The platform is straightforward to use, making use of 3D design software and 3D printing technology without demanding any level of expertise from users. All they have to do is upload a photo on the site, and it will be converted into a 3D image, ready to be printed. Any photo will do, and the customer will get their 3D printed popsicle delivered to them in whatever flavour they choose. There is also a huge range of cute stock popsicles available, from unicorns to palm trees to hearts.

Of course, the 3D printers used by Pixsweet don't actually print ice. Instead, they print an inverted version of the chosen design in plastic, which functions as both a mold and the popsicle's packaging. Liquid is then squirted into the packaging before being sealed inside. Once customers receive their package, they can freeze their popsicle at home.

The service is currently only available in California, but thanks in part to Kyttanen’s fashion industry connections and social media savvy, Pixsweet has already had some impressive exposure. It recently produced some bespoke lickable treats for L.A. Fashion Week, with popsicles in the shape of handbags and shoes. Blogger Perez Hilton is also visible on the site's homepage, posing with a couple of popsicles modelled after his own face.

The service’s offer to 3D print any image that is uploaded does come with some caveats, however. The direct, user-generated production that it offers is still subject to the same restrictions that a conventional manufacturing process would be. This means that trademarks and copyrights are still protected, as are publicity rights.

The website specifically states that it won’t 3D print an image that’s already established without explicit permission from whoever owns the rights to it, so if you want to lick the face of Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, or Rick Moranis, make sure they sign off on you using their likeness first.

A 3D printed ice pop is currently available from Pixsweet for just $5, or you can grab a pack of 8 for $19.99. If the service does expand beyond its Californian origins, it’s not an exaggeration to say that this could change the face of confectionery forever.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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