All of the best 3D printers print from some form plastic, either from filament or from resin. But an upcoming printer, Cocoa Press, uses chocolate to create models you can eat. The brainchild of Maker and Battlebots Competitor Ellie Weinstein , who has been working on iterations of the printer since 2014, Cocoa Press will be available for pre-order, starting on April 17th via cocoapress.com (the company is also named Cocoa Press).
Cocoa Press DIY kits will start at $1,499 and are estimated to ship in September while professional packages, which come fully built, will cost $3,995 and ship in early 2024. When reserving your printer, you'll only have to put $100 deposit down with the rest due at shipping time. The company says that it should take 10 hours to put together the DIY kit.
The Cocoa Press has a build volume of 140 x 150 x 150 mm, which is small for a regular 3D printer, but more than adequate for most chocolate creations. Unlike most plastic filaments that need to be heated to at 200 to 250 degrees Celsius, this printer only heats its chocolate up to 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which is just short of body temperature. The bed is not heated.
In lieu of a roll of filament or a tank full of resin, the Cocoa Press uses 70g cartridges of special chocolate that solidifies at up to 26.67 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit), which the company will sell for $49 for a 10 pack. The cigar-shaped chocolate pieces go into a metal syringe where the entire thing is melted at the same time rather than melting as it passes through the extruder (like a typical FDM printer).
In a recent video with YouTuber MandicReally, Weinstein showed how the Cocoa Press works.
In the video, you can see the Cocoa Press output a couple of designs including a chocolate fish with moving parts and a chocolate barrel. Weinstein's Tik Tok channel has a video of the printer outputting a vase.
The printer is safe and sanitary as the chocolate only touches four parts, which are all easy to remove (without tools) and clean in a sink. The Cocoa Press has an attractive orange, silver and black aesthetic that's reminiscent of a Prusa Mini+.
It uses an Ultimachine Archim2 32-bit processor that's powered by Marlin firmware, the same type which comes on most FDM printers. You can use standard 3D models that you create or download from sites like Printables or Thingiverse and then slice them in PrusaSlicer.
This is not the very first printer that Cocoa Press has released. Weinstein's company sold a larger and much more expensive model, technically known as version 5 "Chef," for $9,995 back in 2020, but she stopped producing that and is now focusing on the less expensive, smaller model. She told us that everyone who bought the old model will receive a free copy of the new one.
If you want to learn more about Cocoa Press, tune into the Tom's Hardware Pi Cast on March 14, 2023 as Ellie Weinstein joins us to take your questions live.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Cocoa Press chocolate cartridges would cost $49 each. We later learned that the price will be $49 for a pack of 10.