Dutch Supermarket chain Albert Hejin (AH XL) have taken it upon themselves to create a user-facing kiosk and a customized chocolate 3D printer to allow customers to make cake designs on the fly. The Dutch always strike me as one of the few countries that like living on the bleeding edge of the Future. Don’t worry Estonia, you’re up there too. But do you have Supermarkets that allow you to make-and-print your own cakes? I didn’t think so Estonia.
I know I know – the first thing you thought was ‘they’ve been doing this by hand at my local Dairy Queen for decades’. But robots are way cooler – a ‘Cool Treat‘ you might say. I, for one, welcome our Cake-creating robot overlords, and as a well-known blog on Technology and Design, Solidsmack can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar-caves. Hyperbole aside, this is a perfect use-case for using 3D Printing for food production – as cake design is an art onto itself, extruding icing is far from impossible and people pay for this already.
The entire operation consists of the Doodle3D app and an iPad to allow users to sketch out their ideas. From there, the design is extruded onto cakes using a modded portable 3D Printer called the 3DByFlow, which is by far one of the most elegant machines I’ve seen in a long time.
The company is beginning with cake decorations but want to expand into more materials and 3D objects soon. So far, there are plans to expand to 30 different stores across the Netherlands. The entire team is affiliated with FabLab Maastrict and Maastrict University, covering the D side of what I imagine is not the easiest project to scale, but gives me the idea that they will rock it…after they frost it.