While the future of 3D food printing will include everything from printed bread to plant-based steaks, the reality is printing globs of goo for your meal might not be an appetizing thought for most consumers.
But what if it were chocolate?
If you live in my home, where pretty much everyone is a certified chocoholic, there’s a good chance you’d find some takers. Luckily for us, a consumer-priced 3D chocolate printer went from idea to reality recently when the mycusini home 3D chocolate printer started shipping in Europe.
Priced at €298 (~$320), the mycusini is the only chocolate printer on the market today shipping below the $2,000 price point. The product debuted on Kickstarter in June and went on to raise €20,000 (~$22,185 USD). Originally, mycusini was scheduled to ship by the holidays, but the product is weeks ahead of schedule and, according company spokesperson Gerd Funk, regular orders for the Kickstarter were all fulfilled at the end of last month.
Part of the reason Print2Taste, the company behind the mycusini, has been able to get the price so low is that they first developed a professional 3D chocolate printer, the Procusini, in 2015. Since that time, the company has continued to iterate and improve on the Procusini (currently in its fourth generation), including the development of the “choco” ingredient capsules that are similar to the ones used in the mycusini.
As I wrote this past June:
“So how does the mycusini work? Basically like all 3D food printers: by extruding small amounts of material (chocolate in this case) layer by layer. The major downside to the mycusini is it, at least initially, requires the use of custom-made “Choco refills” as the printing material, which are essentially crayon-shaped chocolate cylinders that fit into a stainless steel dispensing cartridge. A single-source supplier is never ideal, and being reliant on a small startup out of Germany for chocolate refills likely means potentially long wait times before you can start printing your next confection.”
While I still would prefer not to rely on a proprietary refill system, I think it would be worth the investment for those who are attracted to the idea of creating elaborate chocolate designs. Because of its low price, I could see the mycusini as a low-risk way for some chefs or chocolatiers to dip their toe into the 3D food printing waters.
So what would you print with the mycusini? The software allows you to freehand draw designs or pick from a pre-designed template, of which there are over 200 designs created by Print2Taste’s in-house chef. According to the company, in the future mycusini users will be able to upload their own designs created through CAD software and shared on an online marketplace.
Like I said, I could see some takers in my home for a product like the mycusini, but because the product is only shipping in Europe, I’ll have to wait before I put it on my holiday wish list.
For those of you living in Europe, the mycusini might make a good last-minute holiday gift for the chocolate nut or aspiring chocolatier in your life, especially since the product looks be on sale through the holidays at €250.