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3-D Printed Candy Makes Me Love The Future

It’s the Easy Bake Oven of the digital age!

  • <p>At last week's CES, 3D Systems announced two new machines: ChefJet and ChefJet Pro.</p>
  • <p>The new 3-D printers created edible candy confections.</p>
  • <p>Instead of squirting out food paste, like other early food printers that can make pizza or pasta do, the ChefJets use sugar and water to crystallize frosting in real time.</p>
  • <p>It's easy to imagine the applications: Parents renting a ChefJet Pro for kids’ birthday parties, or a pastry chef meticulously crafting bespoke wedding cake decorations.</p>
  • <p>The ChefJet and ChefJet Pro will likely be available in the second half of 2014, for an estimated $5,000.</p>
  • 01 /05

    At last week's CES, 3D Systems announced two new machines: ChefJet and ChefJet Pro.

  • 02 /05

    The new 3-D printers created edible candy confections.

  • 03 /05

    Instead of squirting out food paste, like other early food printers that can make pizza or pasta do, the ChefJets use sugar and water to crystallize frosting in real time.

  • 04 /05

    It's easy to imagine the applications: Parents renting a ChefJet Pro for kids’ birthday parties, or a pastry chef meticulously crafting bespoke wedding cake decorations.

  • 05 /05

    The ChefJet and ChefJet Pro will likely be available in the second half of 2014, for an estimated $5,000.

3-D printing evangelists are cooking up more and more ways for you to print food. Pizza and pancakes are all meals that you can (dubiously) print. Even Google’s cafeteria has a 3-D printer for pasta.

The ChefJet and the ChefJet Pro are the latest from 3D Systems (the company that won Best Emerging Tech award at last year's CES for the Cubify printer.) This year at CES, the company unveiled these two 3-D printers that use sugar and water to crystallize frosting in real time.

It's a major improvement over the suspect food that's been printed to date. ChefJet candy actually looks like candy. Amazingly beautiful candy. The ChefJet only prints sugar or chocolate-colored confections while the Pro takes it up a notch with an inkjet filled with food coloring allowing for a plethora of colorful, and edible, results. (Though reviews coming out of CES on how the candy actually tastes were mixed.)

Other developments in the 3-D printing of food—such as NASA's research on printing food in space, or printing food with personalized nutritional content—aren't yet fully formed. ChefJet could be a little easier to integrate into small industries right away, think a pastry chef crafting bespoke wedding cake decorations. And imagine the home applications: Parents could rent a ChefJet Pro for a kids’ birthday party or to let children customize the Halloween candy they hand out. And just like the Easy Bake Oven of old, the result may not be totally tasty (yet), but the process is pure joy.

The ChefJet and ChefJet Pro will likely be available in the second half of 2014, for an estimated $5,000.

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