Although Valentine’s Day is still many months away, what is quite possibly the perfect gift, may be soon available. The young inventor, Grant Gabrielson of Park City, Utah, has used his ingenuity to create 3D printed molds for the creation of customized chocolates.
Gabrielson has been interested in 3D printing ever since the first Makerbot cupcake printer was released. He has also previously been involved in entrepreneurial efforts by running an eBay business. With help from his mother, because he is under 18, he has set up a business to make and sell molds for custom chocolates. It is appropriate that he received assistance from his mother, as some of his first experiments with the creation of molds, using PLA plastic in a 3D printer, were to make a gift for her.
After his initial experiments creating the molds, he refined the design and worked to make them food safe. His first refinement was the creation of a removable back that allowed the chocolate to be more easily separated from the mold. While the materials from which he printed the molds was inherently food safe, the nature of the process of 3-D printing is to leave very small holes in the object created. These holes are a concern because they provide a place in which bacteria can grow. Gabrielson searched the Internet to try and find products that would remedy this problem.
The first attempt at solving the problem was made by using a silicone-based sealant and lubricant. Unfortunately, this was not successful as the application was uneven, and after a short period of time, wore away, leaving exposed patches of the original material. It was after several other failed experiments that Gabrielson decided to try food safe wax. He melted wax, dipped the mold in it, and found that it worked very well, covering the holes and making the product food safe. He is currently offering molds in three shapes, a circle, square, or a heart, each of which can be personalized with a message up to 40 characters in length.
In order to gather the necessary funding, Gabrielson turned to Kickstarter to look for backers for his business venture. He is hoping to raise just $100 in order to purchase materials necessary for the creation of the molds. He is offering as a reward, for those who support his project with the pledge of $10 or more, their choice of one of the chocolate molds complete with a personalized message.
While the creation of molds is nothing new for 3-D printing, it is exciting to see someone so young using this technology as part of an entrepreneurial venture. Gabrielson has until August 20 to collect donations to reach his $100 goal. To help you take advantage of his product, Gabrielson has even given step-by-step instructions on how to make a simple chocolate filling. It’s both a charming initiative and an easy way to give someone a romantic gift that combines your love of advanced technology and the near universal appreciation for good chocolate.
Let us know if you have backed this project in the 3D printed chocolate mold forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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