3D Treats Talks 3D Printing Original Desserts
As we know, food 3D printing is developing rapidly. This manufacturing method involves creating models by extruding food and stacking it layer by layer. Many solutions have been developed using this technology, the most common being chocolate 3D printers. As a result, many people have embraced 3D food printing as a way to bring their own creations to life. And this is the case of 3D Treats, a culinary project by Elena Smirnova. We chatted with her to learn more about how she uses 3D printing in her business.
3DN: Can you introduce yourself and 3D Treats?
My name is Elena, I am the founder of 3D Treats, an entrepreneur and mother of three children. I discovered 3D printing by chance. I have always focused my professional career on marketing and have never approached the food industry. However, I was excited about the idea that all foods could be printed and couldn’t resist trying it. After a brief search for existing food 3D printers, I found myself with a brand new machine in my hands. The plan was to start a dessert catering business.
The first few weeks were a nightmare. The printer didn’t always do what I wanted, the templates didn’t work, I had to learn lots of new software I had never heard of, and I didn’t have enough good recipes. If you’ve ever tried printing food with today’s technology, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I must say that the technology is improving day by day and soon even children will be able to do it. It took me a while to learn all the tricks to getting print results I could show my clients, and now I live in perfect harmony with my 3D printer. This is how I created 3D Treats.
3DN: What are the existing 3D food printing technologies?
Most current 3D food printers are limited to pressing pureed prepared foods into the desired shape. There are not yet many machines capable of fully cooking or cooling food on site, which poses certain limitations. Imagine trying to print a pattern or figure out of cookie dough; the dough is soft, it does not hold. On the other hand, 3D printing allows chefs to make beautiful shapes and decorations for dishes. Take for example chocolate 3D printing, which ultimately only works under the right temperature conditions, i.e. if the chocolate hardens fast enough to withstand subsequent layers.
3DN: What are the advantages of this method compared to traditional cooking and are there any limits?
The benefits are indisputable; 3D printing gives cooks unlimited possibilities for customization and creativity. It also saves a lot of storage space in the kitchen, as all models are digital and don’t stack like molds. I would say that there are only two major obstacles to the mass use of 3D food printing: the speed of the process and the complexity of the modeling. Neither real chefs nor home cooks can spend so much time learning how the software needed to design a product works. To be fair, there are design platforms developed by printer manufacturers, but at the moment these services do not have enough designs/templates in their portfolio. So you are faced with the situation of having to create designs from scratch yourself.
3DN: How do you see the future of 3D printing in the food industry?
I see it in bright colors. I’m sure soon the food 3D printing process will be easy, fun and fast. This is already the case with chocolate, just put the chocolate in the tray and enjoy the show, the printer will cool it down to the right temperature. Soon it will be enough to introduce natural products from the store to obtain a cake of your personalized design thanks to the 3D printer.
3DN: A last word for our readers?
If you want to get into 3D food printing, don’t hesitate, give it a try, it’s very fun and satisfying. There are cheap add-ons for conventional 3D printers today that can turn them into food printers. If you need help with recipes or modeling tips, I’ll be happy to help. You can contact me via my instagram account (@treats3D) or visit the 3D Treats site.
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*Cover photo credits: 3D Treats