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Willy Wonka's 3-D Printed Chocolates

A Willy Wonka dream come true, Hershey's has partnered with a 3-D printing company to make headway in chocolate innovation. The chocolate maker announced Thursday it was entering a multi-year agreement with 3D Systems to produce confectionary treats leveraging 3D Systems' technology, which includes two new sugar and chocolate printers shown at CES earlier this month.  The new 3-D system would allow for customization and personalization of chocolate products.

CNN reports: "We believe that innovation is key to delivering relevant, compelling consumer experiences with our iconic brands," William Papa, Hershey's vice president and chief R&D officer, said in a statement. "Whether it's creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3-D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future."

The idea of 3-D printing food has been around for a while, and the Randa: Imagine What's next blog has covered several innovations including: NASA's $125,000 funding a 3-D Space Pizza printer, ChefJet's 3-D printed candies. Cornell University has explored developing machines that it hopes will be adopted by restaurants and home chefs. And for fans of Mexican food, an entrepreneur has also developed a prototype for 3-D printed burritos. 

As the cost of 3-D Printers continues to drop - Randa's first 3-D printers, used for prototyping cost over $500,000, today there are basic home units from MakerBot, and other suppliers, for $1,000 - the consumer and trade applications are expanding exponentially. and allow consumers to create their own 3-D illustrations, print them on industrial quality printers, and ship them to their homes.
Imagine What's Next.
David J. Katz
January 17, 2014

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