3D printing is about to become more prominent in the food industry as 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD) has signed a partnership with CSM Bakery Solutions, a global leader in culinary ingredients, products and services.
Together the companies will work on the development, sale, and distribution of 3D printers, materials and products. CSM will also hold exclusive rights to work with the 3D Systems full-color ChefJet Pro 3D printer for sugar decorations.
Reshaping the food industry
The ChefJet Pro 3D printer is the brain child of Los Angeles architects Kyle and Liz von Hasseln, who started a company called The Sugar Lab in 2011. The ChefJet Pro works in a similar way to the binder jetting process in 3D Systems’ ProJet MJP series, only it uses powdered sugar and a mix of water and food colouring.
A year after the ChefJet’s release in 2012, The Sugar Lab became a part of 3D Systems Corp, where Liz von Hasseln is still the current Culinary Creative Director.
Marianne Kirkegaard, President and CEO of CSM Bakery Solutions comments,“Our agreement with 3D Systems has the potential to re-shape the food industry. Across a number of industries, 3D printing has helped transform industries and there’s every reason to think the same can be true for the food industry.
“We are excited to partner and continue to expand capabilities and culinary opportunities with their platform.”
The icing on the cake
Adding 3D printing to the culinary mix enables the creation of shapes that would be impossible to make in any other way, giving clients the “wow” effect that they seek from in-store customers.
If 3D printing can make decorations in a big enough volume, it could be a lot more cost effective. – Jacqui Jackson, director of Clear Indigo consultants
Commenting on the partnership from within the industry, Jacqui Jackson, director of Clear Indigo bakery manufacturing consultants, says, “It just opens up a lot more creativity for us. The way I see it entering the industry is more for decorative purposes, in celebration cakes/on top of muffins.”
“Currently, elaborate cake decorations are made from sugar paste that is either machine molded to hand molded. Most niche designs, like roses for wedding cakes etc., come from South Africa and cost a premium to ship in. If 3D printing can make decorations in a big enough volume, it could be a lot more cost effective.”
“In the baking industry there’s a lot of robotics, so it’s not new for them to go into unique engineering situations.”
“A perfect fit”
“Our extensive and versatile portfolio of materials addresses the widest range of applications and performance in 3D printing – from culinary to industrial,”
“As we continue to drive innovation and explore strategic partnerships with industry leaders, our partnership with CSM is a perfect fit to leverage our technology and capabilities to expand applications and materials.”
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Featured image: 3D Systems and CSM Bakery Solutions sign a sweet deal for cake decorating. Photo via CSM Bakery Solutions