3D Printing Dark chocolate

Hey guys

I tried to print with the dark chocolate after warming up the chocolate; the problem is that the chocolate gets cold while printing and clogged the hose. Any idea about some additive to solve this issue?

An additive such as palm oil can help. But you may also end up needing sugar, and perhaps some kind of starch (food grade cellulose, perhaps). Once you incorporate all these ingredients, though, you may have something close to Nutella rather than pure dark chocolate.

Thanks Charles for this helpful advise.

Any new ideas on this?
I had hoped to print dark chocolate as well, and honestly hadn’t thought about the liquid/hardening situation. :thinking:

Yes, we’ve done a little more testing on this. The latest “trick” I’ve used is to insulate the tubing and add in some external heating.

First, have a look at our basic tutorial video here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrR_xOnTUPc

If you want to avoid hardening for longer prints, you have to supply some external heat and insulation. So what I did was make a wool sleeve for the tubing. Next, I got some ironing board fabric, which I used to make a linear series of pockets to place inside the wool sleeve. I put some pocket hand warmers into the pockets, then put that through the wool sleeve. Then I placed the tubing inside that.

You have to be careful with the hand warmers, because the warnings on the package say they can get up to about 69 C, and you don’t want your chocolate to go past about 30 C.

Then, you heat up the chocolate as shown in the video (or put the chocolate into a ziploc bag; microwave some water for about 2 minutes; place the bag into the water, submerging the chocolate and leaving the bag open; stir the chocolate until thoroughly melted; cut the corner of the bag and pipe into the cartridge). Assemble the cartridge, tubing, and sleeve and set up the printer.

This rig is cumbersome, but keeps the chocolate melted well for longer prints.

Thank you for your informations and link @Charles_Mire.

I think a Strip of Silicone heater along the tubing would be a simpler solution. It could also be wrapped around the “cartridge” to keep it at the right temperature. Maybe even just use the same strip to go all the way, but might get a bit fiddly.

Maybe even buy a Silicone Drum/Tank -heater if it’s something I do a lot.

I use such heaters on my 3D printer beds and it works very nicely… could do a PID tuning and a small arduino controller or other aparature to set the heat accurately!

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Bought on of these spiral heaters. Should do the trick without too much fuss :slight_smile:

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as much as i know spiral objects are harder to producte, however it is all probably based on skills and printer! i’ve learned a bit about 3d printers while been sitting home doing nothing but taking growth hormones under my doctor prescription. it was boring so i started learning :smiley:

I’m not entirely sure what your comments refer to Withanot?

One of the biggest bummers when doing the delicate work of melting chocolate is when you overheat it. You go from the perfect, silky chocolate to something stiff and unappetizing. Chocolate is remarkably delicate. Dark chocolate needs to stay below 120 degrees F, and milk chocolate beneath 110 degrees F. This allows it to be smooth, silky and creamy. Between finding the perfect temperature and trying to keep moisture out of the concoction, which can lead to your chocolate seizing, there are a lot of ways to ruin your perfect chocolate.
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If you simply pre-heat the chocolate before trying to print it, then you will be racing against the clock to complete the print as the chocolate cools and clogs the nozzle. An external heater like the one @Dintid linked to would be able to maintain the melted chocolate for longer prints.

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lots of thanks for the advice. will try this method and might come back with updates. may i ask some other quesitons in case i would have some? again, thanks!

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