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Cakewalk3D: Turning a Desktop 3D Printer into a Food Printer

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Former director of Sculpteo, Marine Coré-Baillais, decided to create a new project bridging her passion for pastries with 3D printing. The result? Cakewalk 3D, a product that converts any desktop 3D printer into a food printer. Coré-Baillais’ development is part of her new startup called La Pâtisserie Numérique and an innovative plan to democratize culinary 3D printing. To that end, on October 29, 2020, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign on the crowdfunding platform that offers 3D printer owners the chance to print their food at home. When the fundraising campaign ends, project supporters will receive a complete extruder that converts conventional 3D printers into food printers, as well as equipment and food preparations.

The Cakewalk 3D extruder add on for desktop 3D printers. Image courtesy of Cakewalk 3D/La Pâtisserie Numérique

The desktop 3D printer kit for food should be easy to install and uninstall so that users can smoothly switch between 3D plastic printing and 3D food printing. Since Cakewalk 3D adapts to what already exists, users will not need to acquire or get acquainted with any newly designed specific software, as the kit can work with open-source slicers already on the market, making the product even more accessible for any 3D printer owner to use. The extruder also comes with CAD files for 3D printing support parts, as well as a food silicone mat – to provide a secure environment for food printing –, and sachets of preparations to be tested as soon as the extruder is installed. Overall, the user-friendly product is expected to be a fun way to level up pastries.

When Coré-Baillais set out to design and develop a new type of food extruder for FDM 3D printers in March 2020, she wanted to offer buyers a way to revolutionize food printing at a lower cost than any of the ready-made food printers in the market. So instead of creating a new machine, she sought out to make something more practical. Her precise, effective, and handy upgrade enables users to unleash their creativity in the kitchen, enabling them to produce detailed shapes in a few minutes which would traditionally take the best chefs a couple of hours to design. The Cakewalk 3D library even has over 100 different creative recipes that work ideally with 3D printers, from meringue to tomato snacks, and so much more.

“3D printing has multiple advantages and has become a weapon of resilience for our societies. Cakewalk3d shows a new way of consuming and creating. Moreover, a real community of cake designers may emerge, sharing and innovating even more in the culinary field, where amateurs and professionals can exchange. Finally, Cakewalk3D highlights a different way of consuming, where new flavors can be invented from basic materials. It’s revolutionary,” said Coré-Baillais, who worked for the French-based online 3D printing service Sculpteo for over seven years before founding La Pâtisserie Numérique in 2019.

Cakewalk 3D founder Marine Coré-Baillais. Image courtesy of Cakewalk 3D/La Pâtisserie Numérique

With four different sets available, there is an option for every budget, depending on the makers and their needs. The core extruder is sold for €49, while the complete kit, which includes the extruder and motor parts, can be acquired for €89. There is also a ready-to-use kit that comes with the extruder, motor parts, and 3D printed support parts, for €129. Finally, the whole kit, already installed on a 3D printer sells at €459.

Cakewalk 3D is really easy to set up into any 3D printer and works like a regular plastic extruder. Users are expected to first whisk the recipe in a mixer, then pour the preparation into the Cakewalk 3D tube, install the tube into the 3D printer and launch the G-code of their choice. The add-on fully supports dozens of 3D cartesian printers and was successfully tested on major brands, such as Creality, Anycubic, Alfawise, Prusa, and Anet. Prior to launching on Kickstarter, Coré-Baillais along with her engineering team has been gathering feedback from food lovers to makers across various fab labs, incubators, and even cooking schools.

The Cakewalk 3D extruder can create all these design possibilities. Image courtesy of Cakewalk 3D/La Pâtisserie Numérique

Today, millions of users own 3D printers, opening up a large market base for Cakewalk3D. According to a Wohlers 2018 report, more than 278,000 desktop 3D printers were sold worldwide in 2015 alone, and the two years that followed saw an astonishing 528,952 desktop 3D printers shipped worldwide. Wohlers even estimated that revenues from the desktop segment were well over $500 million in 2017. Although 2020 may have experienced a drop in 3D printer sales, in part attributable to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people adjusted to cooking at home, as stay-at-home orders and lockdown regulations have been adopted in most of the countries around the globe to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even after the world returns to a new normal, cooking at home will continue to be a trend and an ideal market for the Cakewalk 3D extruder.

According to the founder, Cakewalk 3D was designed to be simple enough for anyone to use. With the vision to create a handy food extruder that is compatible with 3D printers, Coré-Baillais is offering a cost-effective and clever upgraded for culinary creativity to thrive. The Kickstarter campaign already has 22 backers that pledged almost half of the original goal, so far it’s a great start to the project, and with 29 days to go, we can expect more interest in the original food extruder.

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