Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
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Edible 3D Printing proposal receives early career researcher grant

grant award
funded by: UWE early career researcher grants
principle investigator: deborah southerland
host: centre for fine print research
dates: 2010-2011

Deborah Southerland (programme leader in BA(Hons) Textiles) has been awarded funding to work with the CFPR on an experimental ‘proof of concept’ research project that will bring the versatility and precision of the digital world into the realm of food and edible products. There is a long precedent of artists and designers using food based products within their practice and this creative investigation will build on this. The research project will test three main production and manufacture techniques for technical feasibility and creative potential:

- Direct free form fabrication, using powdered food mixes within the Z-Corp powder binder 3D printer.
- Using heated syringe extruders and chocolate based products within the ‘Rap Man’ rapid prototyping system.
- 3D printing of resin and/or plaster master models, from which silicone or vacuum formed plastic moulds will be produced, for casting single or multiple food based forms.

The potential of 3D printing has been under philosophical discussion for some time, but conventional materials are often limited in terms of functional and visual qualities. Food based products could provide an exciting alternative with significant commercial potential in the form of delicious delectable edible objects.
It is anticipated that these fabrication processes will allow for the creation of aesthetically seductive and intricate edible forms that would be unachievable through conventional cooking and food preparation techniques.


UWE Early career researcher grants
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3D printing technologies at the CFPR
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Industry parnterships at the CFPR
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