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3D printer lets you "Eat Your Face" for Easter

posted 20 Apr 2011, 07:58 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 20 Apr 2011, 08:00 ]

A researcher at MIT has used his technical skills to give chocolate bunnies and eggs a run for their money. David Carr built a new type of 3D printer that uses chocolate to give a new face to Easter treats.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES REUTERS - David Carr was tired of the traditional goodies associated with Easter - so he built a machine to personalise his chocolate. Carr, along with his colleagues at the MIT Media Lab, built the "Eat Your Face Machine," a new type of 3D printer that works with chocolate.

"The computer takes a model of your face and actually instructs that machine to carve away a block of chocolate and leave the part of the chocolate that is your face and when all is said and done that is what you have left," he said.

Normally 3D printers use plastics or silicon to fabricate models and circuit boards. Carr wanted to prove that he could use chocolate instead and create something to rival chocolate bunnies and eggs.

"Chocolate and food are really interesting because the enable us to bring in other senses other than just looking and touching and, you know, we have thing like tasting and there are really neat properties like you can eat it when you are done and that is always really exciting," Carr said.

But Carr had a dilemma. While most people have no problem biting off the ear of a chocolate bunny - eating their own face hasn't proved as popular.

"That is the problem. No one eats their face, right. That is actually a very interesting tension in the work. You have this sort of food which is dark chocolate that a lot of people really want to eat but their face is on it."

Carr admits the 'Eat Your Face Machine' most likely wont make it to many shopping malls but he says the experiment reaffirmed his belief that personal fabrication is increasingly going to make its way into our lives.

"I think that is really the magic of fabrication on your desktop or making things on your desktop is this idea that everything could be unique and personalised to you rather than just being stamped out from some mould in a big factory," he said.

Accessibility to 3D printing technology and it's growing popularity will allow the few people who would like to eat their own face to do so soon …..but probably not in time for Easter.