Investigation of process variables in 3D printing of chocolate

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, Tehran Azad University of Science and Research


Research subject: Combined additive manufacturing (AM) and syringe deposition as a process method for complex parts manufacturing, attracted the attention of many industry and research communities due to its ability to shorten design to production cycle. In this method, various materials such as polymers, food pastes, etc. are deposited in layers by a CNC controlled syringe, gradually outlining the shape of the part.
Research approach: The aim of this research was shaping chocolate parts by AM technology. For this purpose, a commercial 3D printer equipped with a specially designed syringe head with temperature control was used.
Main results:DSC test indicated that the proper temperature for tempering of the chocolate is between 32 and 40 oC. The rheology test indicated that by increasing the temperature, the chocolate viscosity was decreased and leaded to more flow rate of the extruded chocolate and thus reduced the shape resolution. On the other hand, the process parameters such as the nozzle height from the printing plate, the nozzle diameter, the software input diameter setting and the temperature of the build plate also affect the print resolution. So, different input diameters were examined at various temperatures and optimum conditions for the best printed part resolution were obtained as follow: nozzle temperature of 32 oC, printing height equal to nozzle diameter, software input diameters of 1.98 mm and plate temperature of less than 10 oC Based on the optimum condition, complex shape of chocolate object were 3D printed.

Graphical Abstract

Investigation of process variables in 3D printing of chocolate


  • In this research, a commercial printer was equipped with a special syringe head with adjustable temperature control was used to 3D printing of chocolate.
  • By using differential scannning calorimetry test, the optimum temperature of 3D printing of chocolate were obtained, in which both flow and fast solidification was happening and 3D printing was possible.
  • Reological test was performed to determine the viscosity of chocolate versus temperatures to determine the 3D printing parameters.
  • Process parameters such as nozzle height from the build plate, nozzle diameter, and filament diameter were determined to achieve high print resolution.
  • With the obtained optimum parameters, complex shapes of chocolate were successfully 3D printed.


Main Subjects

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