If you are a cooking enthusiast or have a bakery business, you should know that 3D printing has a lot to offer. You can print cake molds, cookie cutters, or even coffee foam molds.
If that sounds interesting, keep reading, because we’re just getting started.
How can 3D printing help you in the kitchen?
3D printing is a technology (or technology family) that is here to stay. Over time, as it has become more popular, more and more nifty applications have appeared in almost every area of life. The kitchen is perhaps one of the least exploited sectors, due to certain drawbacks that we will explain later, but if we do things right, 3D printing can be of great help to your cooking.
This article will serve as an introduction to the combined universe of cooking and baking with additive manufacturing. We will show you some examples of things that you can do to add a lot of value to your everyday dishes or to your baking business.
Cookie or fondant cutters
If we search in Amazon for “cookie cutter” or “fondant mold”, we will find a series of designs, quite conventional and not very original, that are repeated over and over again with very little variation.
As you can see, originality is conspicuous by its absence. This is where 3D printing can be of great help since, with one of the many modeling programs we have shown you, it will be very simple for you to design your own cookie cutter molds to create the shapes you like best. We have designed a cookie cutter with our logo using Fusion 360 in less than 5 minutes.
You can also find many cookie cutters on Thingiverse and other similar sites using the term “cookie cutter“. Here are some fun examples.
To give you an idea, printing one of these molds would take less than two hours and consume only 20 grams of filament. Once printed, you can use the mold to cut as many cookies or fondant as you want.
Stencil to decorate your coffee
Other quite interesting items are the stencils used to decorate the coffee, usually using cinnamon, cocoa or the coffee foam itself. As in the previous case, the stencils that we can buy in the usual sales sites such as Amazon are very repetitive and have very little personality.
If you are looking for something more personal, that can bring value to your coffee business, or you simply want to personalize your morning coffee, it will be very easy to design your own template to add your restaurant’s logo or your favorite superhero’s face. Here are a few examples on thingiverse, which you can find by searching for “coffee stencil“.
Printing one of these stencils will only take about 50 minutes, and will use less than 20 grams of filament. Once you have printed the stencil you can use it as many times as you want, and you can have many to choose from.
In our opinion, one of the coolest applications is in chocolate molds. On Amazon you will have a hard time finding anything other than the typical chocolate bar mold, simple letters or geometric shapes.
These molds are pretty bland, and while they provide you enough to make your own chocolate works, you certainly won’t impress anyone with the result.
3D printing gives you the solution. There are a huge amount of molds to create your own chocolate in thingiverse and similar pages under the search term “chocolate mold“. We will show you some of the ones we have found, but there really is a lot of them and we suggest you take a look yourself.
Whenever we deal with the topic of food-safe products, we want to make it very clear that conventional 3D printing is not intended to produce parts that are food-safe.
On the one hand, many filaments are polymers that are quite harmful to the human body if ingested, such as ABS. Others, such as PLA or PETG are, in principle, food-safe filaments in most cases, although this will depend on the specific formulation and the dye used, so you should look at the information provided by the manufacturer.
There are quite a few filaments that, in addition to using a polymer that is in principle food-safe, are certified for this purpose, such as the filamedic filaments of the Tecnikoa brand. These filaments have been certified and are totally antibacterial, so they are a very good option.
Even if we have chosen a filament that is suitable for food use, we cannot be confident, as the printing process itself is not exactly clean. When the filament is melted, some particles may be carbonated, giving rise to harmful chemicals that we do not want to end up in our food. Similarly, the extruder-melter assembly should be suitable for food use, using, for example, stainless steel nozzles instead of the typical brass ones, which may contain lead.
In addition, you must be sure that the printer in which your product has been printed has no traces of previous prints with materials not suitable for food use, as small traces may remain in the Teflon tubes, the hotend or the hot bed.
As you can see, there are many conditions that your printer must meet if you want the parts you print to be suitable for use in baking or food in general. In addition to everything we have told you, it is essential that the procedure is safe and hygienic at all times, to ensure that the parts produced do not contain any virus or pathogen transmitted by the operator who printed them.
As you’ve seen, there are many ways you can add value and diversity to your baking recipes using 3D printing. Fondant molds for cakes, cookie cutters, stencils for decorating coffee, molds for making chocolate…
You may also have noticed that not everyone with a 3D printer can guarantee all the conditions necessary for printed products to be fully food safe. In Bitfab, we are experts in professional 3D printing, and we have the right printers and materials, in addition to knowing all the necessary procedures so that you can always be confident and safe.
If you want us to print for you any of these products or any other to bring life to your desserts, do not hesitate to contact us. Similarly, if you’re looking for someone to design for you a cookie cutter or a coffee stencil, in Bitfab we are in contact with professional designers who will gladly help you.