Hershey continues to explore the possibilities of 3D printing

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

The Hershey 3D Chocolate Candy Printer.
The Hershey 3D Chocolate Candy Printer.

Related tags Inkjet printer Candy 3d printing

Hershey says it is continuing to explore the possibilities of 3D chocolate printing partnering with a ‘world-renowned culinary school’ and funding two students to focus on exploring real-world applications of the technology.

Sandra Hand, senior director of Research & Development at Hershey, told ConfectioneryNews, it has provided two machines to the school but due to confidentiality agreements it cannot provide further details. 

Real-world applications

It’s too soon to say how their work will translate into real-world applications​,” she said. 

By installing the technology at the culinary school we hope this will help us to better understand how user friendly the technology is and to see how far we can push its capabilities to create chocolate shapes otherwise not achievable through traditional molding techniques​.” 

Last year, the company partnered with 3-D printing specialists 3D Systems​ and debuted its 3-D Chocolate Candy Printing at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction in Pennsylvania.  

Hand said the printers are used in a commercial setting to create personalized messages on chocolate bars at Hershey’s Chocolate World​ Attraction in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which has more than four million visitors a year. 

Jeff Mundt, senior marketing manager, technology, Hershey’s, said at the time the printers have an interactive touchscreen that allows the company to survey the public on their customization preferences.

“With each iteration the technology becomes faster and more precise so we’ll have to see what the future holds​,” he said.​

Culinary Institute of America

The printing times depend on the amount of chocolate needed for a design. For example, a 40 g chocolate bar would take about an hour, but if it was a complex lattice, that 3-D printers are capable of making, it could be printed in much less time.

The Hershey/3D Systems printers include the CocoJet 3-D Chocolate printer; ChefJet and ChefJet Pro, which features Digital Cookbook software to create intricate candies and sweets.

3D Systems partnered with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) three years’ ago for students to explore the intersection of 3D printed food and artisan culinary methods.

Together, 3DS and the CIA plan have developed a series of educational collaborations and started a beta program for ChefJet Pro.

3DS also created an internship program with CIA to allow students to work at The Sugar Lab, in Los Angeles.

"Through our partnership with 3D Systems, The Culinary Institute of America will elevate 3D printing technology by integrating it into our curriculum so that current CIA students, alumni, and culinary professionals can have access to this new platform in the future,"​ said Dr Tim Ryan, president, CIA, at the time.

"I am excited to see how this technology will open opportunities to chefs as they explore its creative, design, and functional capabilities using new techniques that will integrate 3D printing into the professional kitchen."

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