Graham Likes To Make Things

Product Design

3D Printed Chocolate Molds

For my girlfriend’s birthday I figured some custom made chocolate would be a rather thoughtful gift. To get started I made some funky designs and printed the negatives to mold my chocolate in. PLA is technically food safe, but whether 3D printed PLA is is a bit of a grey area. A printed PLA part will be full of tiny pockets and cracks where bacteria can build up in, so the general consensus is that 3D printed PLA is not actually food safe. All that aside, it was a terrible idea anyway since the chocolate was impossible to remove from the rigid molds. Instead, I printed out the positives, then used these to make negatives out of food grade silicon putty.

The chocolate I used is called Callebaut (Dark Belgian Chocolate) and although the final results were disappointing, this chocolate is the most delicious chocolate I have ever had.

Printed positives, you may have guessed my girlfriends name is Arghen.

The silicon negatives came out quite nicely at least

Melted chocolate poured into the molds, everything is looking perfect so far. Time to sit in the fridge over night.

…and disaster strikes.

They were okay actually, and definitely pleased my girlfriend in the end, they just didn’t have that super nice dark chocolate look I was hoping for. I believe the issue was that there was a coat of tiny air pockets trapped between the mold and the chocolate. I was aware this would be an issue going in and the solution is to knock or vibrate the molds after filling with chocolate, which I did, just not enough apparently. I imagine this issue was only multiplied by the silicon molds picking up all the layer defects from the printed plastic. If I do this next time I will spin a drill chuck on the chopping board after pouring the chocolate, this would probably be enough of a fast and hard vibration to remove all the air pockets.

Nevertheless, it was successful and served it’s purpose.


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