Barry Callebaut, a Swiss B2B chocolate manufacturer, has opened the world’s first 3D printing studio dedicated to chocolate.
Launched via the group’s global decoration brand, Mona Lisa, the facility will produce personalised 3D printed Belgian chocolate at scale as consumers increasingly look for foods that are ‘Instagrammable’.
The facility combines innovative production technology, bespoke design and Barry Callebaut’s chocolate experience. Together, this means chefs can craft their own unique creations and reproduce them rapidly and affordably, no matter how intricate or specific the design.
The studio is equipped with innovative precision technology capable of printing thousands of pieces at a time while retaining a bespoke hand-made appearance. Chefs and customers can personalise a chocolate decoration with their own unique design, shape and size preferences, before a team of designers transform the product into a digital 3D prototype with samples.
Once the prototype is approved, the final product can be quickly reproduced at scale. The creations can be used for desserts, confectionery, hot drinks and pastries.
This approach was clearly seen in the launch event for the 3D Studio in which Mona Lisa teamed up pastry chef Jordi Roca. His latest creation ‘Flor de Cacao’ represents a cocoa bean that opens up like a cacao flower through contact with hot chocolate sauce.
“This new way of working with chocolate is going to take consumers by surprise, with previously unthinkable shapes produced at scale and with impressive precision,” said Roca.
“I’m usually inspired by the things I can’t do as they represent a creative challenge – but now, thanks to Mona Lisa 3D Studio, I can take my chocolate craftsmanship to the next level. I can imagine any new kind of design and it will come to life.”
This service will be first available to chefs and hotels, coffee chains and restaurant establishments in specific European countries. The first customer of the Mona Lisa 3D Studio is Dutch hotel chain, Van der Valk.