The world’s first 3D gummy printer became reality this week with the launch of a new retail concept in confectionery.
Birmingham-headquartered Katjes Fassin UK Ltd showcased the Magic Candy Factory, the latest innovation in confectionery production which will be available for UK consumers from early 2016.
The confectionery maker – supplier of Percy Pigs to M&S – has created the first 3D food printer to reach consumer retail.
It takes the Magic Candy Factory about five minutes to print a sweet weighing between 15 and 20 grams.
German customers were able to trial it for themselves last week and plans are already in place for the Magic Candy Factory to be open to UK consumers through online, retail and leisure outlets by early 2016.
Managing director Katjes Fassin UK, Melissa Snover commented: “The benefit of the experience in store for the whole family is that children and adults can learn about the technology of 3D printing and ingredients in food.
“Other confectioners haven’t been able to bring anything like this to market, but we’ve spent many months developing this technology to be fast, educational and fun.”
UK consumers will be able to customise their own confectionery. Shapes include unusual designs, such as frogs or octopuses, or more classic shapes such as hearts. Currently, there are 20 different designs with a range of colours, flavour combinations and finishings including sweet, glitter or sour.
In addition, customers will be able to print personalised greetings on gummy cards to create unique gifts.
The technology is based on fused deposition modelling and uses a special blend of natural ingredients, which are heated and then extruded to create a variety of complex shapes and unique combinations.
The shapes have been developed using 3D modelling software and specially created ‘g-codes’ that tells the printer where to deposit the materials, and at what speed and frequency.
Bastian Fassin, managing director Katjes Fassin GmbH & Co. KG and director Katjes Fassin UK Ltd added: “We always strive to make sweets that will make our customers smile. Now, we have given them the power and the wonderful opportunity to make a fruit gummy which is special and unique for them.”