Choctopus Chocolate Printer X8

Valentine’s Day is about a month away, long enough for everyone to butcher upgrade their 3D printers to squirt out chocolate. Food printing was a hot item at this year’s CES, but it is hardly new. Before many of you were born [Hans] left his job at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to produce chocolate out of his garage in South Africa. This one prints 8 at a time!

HAD - Choctopus1Many years before he was extruding lawnmowers from raw pellets, [Hans] built the 8-tentacled Choctopus. He gets away with using only one chocolate pump – from some experience, by far the most challenging component – by simply splitting the ooze pipe with three tiers of T intersections. The whole design is actually patented and revolutionary for 19 years ago but to our readers probably unremarkable.

HAD - Choctopus4There is a business lesson here too. Once upon a time the Choctopus was a  3D printer but economic constraints have led to him downgrading to 2D. Any 3D requirements are served from an alternate RepRap. The purpose of an 8-armed printer is to mass produce, but for the price, most clients were only interested in a one-off. The products that pay the bills are the much more affordable 2d extrusions in bulk.

Any of our readers looking to impress their date make lots of money next month, consider this the kick in your pants to get started.

Check out these videos of the Choctopus churning out delicious delicatessens.

14 thoughts on “Choctopus Chocolate Printer X8

  1. For what it’s worth, 3d Systems fairly recently came out with a RepRap style commercially available machine that only produces one 3d chocolate object at a time. Multiple heads seems like a viable way to actually speed up production to the point where it becomes economically feasible to actually produce edible items at a few dollar price point, provided the production time to produce each item is not several hours each.

    1. Printing is great for one offs. Suppose you wanted to make a cake with chocolate decorations specific to that person and event.
      Printing and mass production do not really go hand in hand.

      1. There’s always that weird gap between Mass Production and Custom Fabrication where it’s too expensive and time-consuming to make them one-at-a-time but you haven’t hit the volume needed to invest in proper tooling and equipment.

        Someone like a Caterer who needs a whole bunch of Chocolate monogram cupcake toppers that they’re serving at a wedding would be an example. They’re probably not going to need that specific pattern ever again, but having molds cut out would be pretty expensive.

      1. You see, BrotherGecko has been running a chocolate business for 19 years and is totally an expert.

        Oh wait, no. That’s Hans who’s run the business.

        Well, we don’t know for sure what BrotherGecko does for a living. Maybe he owns Hersheys for all we know. But probably not.

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