Scientists of Samara State Aerospace University (SSAU) develop a unique 3D-printer for chocolate confectionery printing.
3D-printer for chocolate printing is being created in SSAU Centre for Robotic Complexes and Mechatronic Systems. It is unique in that it can manufacture complicated three-dimensional confectionery figures sized over 5 cm, while all the world analogues print figures up to 3-5 cm.
"Know-how" of the scientists of Samara State Aerospace University in that they were developed unparalleled chocolate delivery and cooling systems in 3D-printer. Thereby they managed to overcome the main problem of "printing" big chocolate figures on the printer, as chocolate "ink" just melts having no time to cool down. There are also specified requirements to the printing material - it must be a high-quality chocolate without palm oil and other additives complying with certain requirements for the melting process.
The project is carried out under the general supervision of Vladimir Ilyukhin, Associate Professor of SSAU Department of Automation Systems of Power Plants in cooperation with the technologists of Novokuybyshev Humanities and Technology College and Kirill Samoylov, the restaurant chef of the hotel "Holiday Inn Samara".
The idea to create such a device came from the scientists of Samara State Aerospace University whereas it was necessary to ensure a balanced diet of astronauts during their missions.
"I wish that the astronauts in the spaceflight could eat well, moreover to eat something reminding home-cooked food rather than the food packed in tubes. It is an ambitious idea, but we decided to start from a smaller task. So, the simplest design of food 3D-printer that we can create at the moment is a "chocolate" 3D-printer", - says Vera Panova, a student of Master’s degree program of SSAU Institute of Engines and Power Plants.
The prototype model of the chocolate 3D-printer developed in SSAU will be tested not in space, but in the restaurant of the hotel "Holiday Inn Samara".
The use of such printer will allow speeding as well as diversifying the work of confectioners. Thus, the manual production of complex figure from different types of chocolate can take more than an hour, while "chocolate" 3D- printing of the item will take up to 10 minutes. Therefore, the space technology for chocolate printing created in SSAU will primarily find application in restaurants, confectioneries and coffee shops.
Today, the young scientists and students of SSAU Faculty of Informatics are working on development of special software for this "chocolate" 3D-printer, which, in particular, will allow the cafe visitors to download the application to their smartphones and to choose the ingredients by themselves, as well as the shape and form of sweets, which can be printed. In such a way, anyone who feels like it will be able to create any chocolate figure for himself on this printer.
Work on production of a prototype for chocolate 3D-printer in Samara is scheduled to be completed in February 2016. Further development of the project will be the creation of caramel 3D-printer in the university in the summer of next year. There is no such a device in the world at the moment.
Due to fine-tuning of technologies, SSAU scientists are intended to return to the original idea of a "space printer" and develop a food 3D-printer with a more complex, varied and balanced menu.