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Additive Manufacturing of Chocolate?

October 26, 2011

With Halloween coming up my wife and I have started to stock up on candy for the kids.  Chocolate comes in all shapes and sizes, but have you ever wanted to design your own chocolate creation?  Well new technology will let you do this.  Recently additive manufacturing of chocolate has come to the market.  ASTM defines additive manufacturing as “the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies, such as traditional machining.”  In this chocolate example a machine extrudes molten chocolate and prints the given candy by slowly building up the shape layer by layer.  It is a fun and entertaining extension of the technology scientists have been working on for years.

EWI is working with several additive manufacturing technologies.  The most recent is called Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing.  Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing is a disruptive technology that will change the way you think about making parts. It is a solid state additive manufacturing (AM) process for metals that uses sound waves to merge layers of metal foil. The process produces true metallurgical bonds with full density and works with a variety of metals, including aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and titanium. By combining additive and subtractive process capabilities, UAM can create deep slots, hollow, latticed, honeycombed internal structures, and other complex geometries― geometries impossible to replicate with conventional subtractive manufacturing processes. A dditionally, the solid state nature of the UAM bond allows for welding of dissimilar metals. This enables dissimilar metal cladding, production of custom metal matrix composites, and the ability to embed objects or sensors in a metal substrate.

For more information contact Mark Norfolk at [email protected] or 614-688-5223.