This time of year could be called chocolate season – Valentine’s Day has just wrapped up, and now Easter is looming, which means that store owners have swept their shelves clean of one variety of chocolate shapes just to replace it with another. Of course, it could be argued that chocolate season started with Halloween and continued through Christmas, which means that with the exception of a few summer months, it’s never not chocolate season – which I’m okay with. It’s hard to get sick of chocolate because there’s so much variety, in flavor and style, and 3D printing is allowing enterprising chocolatiers to get even more creative with their confections.
There’s a reason people love those Valentine’s Day candy hearts, and it’s not because of their chalky flavor. It’s fun to be able to send a message with candy, and that’s what Gil Mayron and Erica Diamond of Las Vegas-based Sweet Your Words are capitalizing on. They’re doing it in a much classier, more customized and more delicious way than candy hearts, though. Sweet Your Words offers 3D printed chocolate in the words of your choice with artful designs.
Mayron and Diamond have a long history with both 3D printing and chocolate, so it made sense to combine the two in the recently-established business.
“3D Printing has been at the forefront of most of my adult life, and a daily conversation in my home— my husband [Mayron] has worked in different facets of the industry from sales and manufacturing, to materials engineering, hardware development, and immense amount of business development and licensing. He sold the first consumer 3D printer company to 3D Systems in 2011,” Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Diamond told 3DPrint.com.
“Being on the sidelines for nearly a decade, I have witnessed both the gains and setbacks made across the board. From an outsider’s perspective, I saw the technology always improving, yet consumer applications rarely thriving. It occurred to me that maybe the success wasn’t measured as much in the application of the technology as it may be in the demand for an end product.”
Diamond received a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, with a concentration in food and beverage management. She worked in that field until Mayron sold his company, which allowed her to pursue her interest in baking and cake decorating. She worked as head baker in an award-winning cupcake shop until she started her own business and finally co-founded Sweet Your Words.
Customers either send the company a prepared image or logo, or consult with a designer to come up with a concept. When a final design is decided on, it’s 3D printed in ethically traded, high-quality Belgian chocolate – white, milk or dark. The company also offers a “Spectrum Series” of bright pastel colors; there’s even an option to have the chocolate gilded or finished in another metallic tone. Two packaging options are available: “Beautifully Boxed,” in a windowed package that makes for a good gift or display, or “Wrapped and Ready,” for customers who want a bulk supply.
“Through the use of 3D printing, we have successfully created a product in demand, a streamlined manufacturing process and fully scalable business model,” Diamond told us. “It was our goal to not only have the only 100% customizable chocolates on the market, but to make an edible product we could be proud to share with those of discerning taste. We have sourced the highest quality, ethically traded chocolate we could find. It really is incredible. With the use of 3D printing within our production process, we are able to produce a 100% custom chocolate, at scale, at a lower cost one could ever get from traditional manufacturing/tooling methods.”
A lot of 3D printed chocolate is still somewhat of a novelty, with the technology being in the spotlight instead of the chocolate itself. Diamond and Mayron found that 3D printing was the best way to create chocolate at scale for a low price, but wanted the focus to be on the chocolate itself, rather than how it was made. Quality was first and foremost in their minds.
“Numerous attempts at an ‘additive manufacturing’ approach to chocolate have been made, with little regard for the end product,” said Diamond. “To me, the success isn’t in the printer itself, but whether or not there is a demand for the chocolate being produced by it…Our overall concentration is not just to offer a great, completely high-end chocolate product with fast customization – but showcase our views on the scaleability of 3D printing when you approach it from a different angle.”
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Images courtesy of Sweet Your Words]