Monday morning usually weighs us down with a fair amount of guilt over the weekend’s indulgences — and a bathroom scale that we want to toss out the window. It’s easy to talk (and write) about diet and exercise, but as most of us know — it’s not so easy to put our plans into true action and achieve the svelte results we desire. What often works, however, is the reward system. And chocolate? It’s time to find out, thanks to the creators of Sweethearts.

Most of us have tried one diet or another, and often it takes some creativity and innovation to get Kickstarted into shape again. The SweetHearts concept is not only a novel, confectionery creation — but also a genius one. Work, and get your chocolate — your 3D printed chocolate, no less. As 3D printed food moves into the culinary arts, it makes sense that it will hit the diet and exercise scene as well. Nothing revs up a boring routine like something new and exciting, and tasty.

c1

Created by Rohit Ashok Khot, Ryan Pennings, and Florian “Floyd” Mueller, the purpose of SweetHearts is simply to turn your physical activity data into the appropriate amount of 3D printed chocolate, with the motto: ‘Turning Physical Activity into Chocolate.’

It works as follows: The subject dons a heart monitor. Exercise begins, and as the heart rate is measured, a 3D printer works to print chocolate as a reward, depending on the heart rate activity. As exercise continues, so does the printing of c2chocolate. Each 3D printed chocolate ‘displays a cheerful message using the heart rate data of physical activity.’

Rohit Ashok Khot is a PhD candidate and IBM PhD fellow in the Exertion games lab, at RMIT Australia. He is busy examining ‘systems that transform physical activity data such as heart rate into 3D printed material and edible form,’ and Sweethearts is one such endeavor. In his blog, Physical Activity Matters, Rohit explains that he is studying material representations of physical activity. Working in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), his focus is to focus on the combination of physical activity with health goals.

“I put forward an alternative design strategy — to represent physical activity in the form of material artifacts,” says Khot. His goal is to understand the relationship between material representations and physical activity, and he hopes to inspire others to study concepts involving physical activity.

Florian 'Floyd' Mueller

Dr. Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller

Dr. Mueller, a former Fulbright scholar and co-founder of SweetHearts, is known for his research in interactive technology and says, ”My work has also been described as research in computer games that make you sweat.” Ryan Pennings, Designer at Ryan Pennings Design and co-founder of SweetHearts, is an industrial designer and 3D printing enthusiast, with a special interest in 3D printed food, as well as computational and algorithmic design.

SweetHearts joins together good health, results of exercise, and reward combined with the new technology of 3D printing with food. The aim of the team at SweetHearts is “to inspire and guide design thinking on food printing, which we believe opens up new interaction possibilities to support the physical activity experience.”

ryan pennings

Ryan Pennings

The American Heart Association (AHA) advises that you really should be getting busy at the gym over two hours per week, with a target heart rate zone that increases your heart rate to between 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Good exercises for raising your heart rate are:

  • Bike riding
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Jumping rope
  • Hula-hooping
  • Lifting weights
  • Jumping jacks
  • Alternating exercise in a 30-minute period

It’s common sense that to stay healthy, we need to watch what we eat and we need to exercise. While we all know that’s true, sometimes the body and the brain both want to fight the effort (sometimes construed as pain!) and sweat equity involved in building and maintaining good health. Nothing helps motivate like a reward. So, if the bottom line here is that I can squeeze into my favorite blue jeans and eat as much chocolate as I am willing to work for, fit me in.

What do you think of this concept that mixes diet and exercise with 3D printed rewards? Have you 3D printed any food? Tell us about it in the 3D Printing Chocolate & Exercise forum thread on 3DPB.com.

[Editor’s note: Since this article went to print, Sweethearts has changed their name to EdiPulse.]

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