HackSpace magazine

Print on a cake!

By Ben Everard. Posted

People have tried to 3D-print with food for almost as long as hobbyists have been 3D printing. It’s an obvious area for experimentation, and there are some materials that behave at least a little like 3D printer filament, in that they’re sometimes solid and sometimes liquid. Cakewalk 3D is the latest project attempting to combine rapid prototyping with the culinary arts. It is a food extruder for your 3D printer that uses a screw to push a softish liquid out of the nozzle. If you select the ‘Standard Kit’ (for 89 euros), you’ll be supplied with all the bits for the extruder and design files for mounts for popular 3D printers that you can print yourself.

As you might guess from the name, Cakewalk 3D is selling this as an option for icing cakes (or anything else that has a gooey, colourful liquid  colourful liquid decoratively laid on top). Pop the cake on your print bed, put the design for your decoration through your slicer, and automatically squirt it on. 

Anyone who’s ever set up a printer will know the importance of setting the first layer height. When the print bed is a knobbly cake, you’re never going to get an accurate height and, even in the demonstration video, you can clearly see unevenness in the results caused by this. In some cases, it’s the nozzle dragging through the icing, in others, it’s due to the fact that the cake has been too far away and it’s lost definition.

We haven’t been able to test a Cakewalk 3D, but for us, the most impressive thing about it is the ability to manipulate images in ways that would be hard to do by hand. For example, slice up an image into multiple parts and divide it between different items so that they make one image when put together. Or, it would be interesting to see some edible algorithmic art (take a look at the #plottertwitter hashtag on Twitter for some excellent examples of this).

If you’re expecting this to be an easy way to get photorealistic artwork on your baked goods, then you’re going to be in for a disappointment. However, if you’re passionate about tinkering with both technology and food, there’s undoubtedly some fun to be had with this.  

Price: from €49


Delivery: December 2020


From HackSpace magazine store