Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Think ‘Gummy Bears’ are Good? Try ‘Gummy Humans’ Thanks to 3D Printing

ST Medical Devices

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Hans Riegel

Back in 1922, a German candy maker named Hans Riegel invented what has come to be known as one of the more popular candies among both children and adults… gummy bears. Through his company Haribo, which happens to be the abbreviation of ‘Hans Riegel Bonn,’ he marketed the cute little chewy candies as ‘Gold-Bears’. Here we are some 92 years later, and these candies, and ones like them, still sell incredibly well. Whether you are buying gummy bears, worms, or whatever other creatures they come as, the texture and consistency of the candy is apparently what gets people hooked.

I wonder what Riegel would think if he was alive today, knowing what a Japanese FabCafe has done, with the help of 3D printing and scanning. We have covered many uses of 3D printing to gum-3create food, and we have also covered numerous stories involving people making replicas of themselves via 3D scanning and printing technology, but this idea, coming from Japan, combines both of these popular applications.

A FabCafe in Shibuya, Japan used 3D scanning technology to perform full body scans on several customers. They then took these scans, uploaded them to a computer, and 3D printed plastic molds of each individual. At this point, they allowed each customer to pour a jelly candy into their personalized molds, which were then left to sit. When the molds were removed, each customer had a miniature ‘Gummy Human’ in the likeness of themselves. The candies, as you can see in the images below, are quite detailed, even more so than most gummy candies you’d buy at the store.

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The only question left now is, “do grizzly bears like ‘gummy humans’ as much as we like ‘gummy bears’?” Let us know in the Gummy Human forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Fun little applications like this may seem useless, however, it’s a great way to get people involved with the technology, teaching them the fundamentals of what will certainly be a major part of many businesses and job opportunities in the coming decade. We will close out this story with the ‘The Gummy Bear Song,’ enjoy!

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