By Eddie Krassenstein | 3DPrint
One of the greatest benefits of 3D printing technology is its ability to allow for complete customization. If you want a toy with your name on it, you can design it in such a way. If you want a lamp that is half red and half black, you can 3D print it this way as well. One new startup based in San Francisco, called Stuffhub, has taken this method of mass customization and used it to create lollipops that appear exactly how you want them.
“The idea of customized candy making using a 3DP design germinated during our brainstorming session for the Valentine’s Day promotion,” Charlie Yang of Stuffhub tells 3DPrint.com. “Since we cannot print something sweet for valentine’s, we decided to use the 3d printing of parts to make a customized mold. The beauty of a customized mold is that it not only can make something personal and special for Valentine’s, but it can be used for many other occasions, like company promotion events or baby shower parties.”
To create the molds, Stuffhub uses a Stratasys uPrint SE 3D printer. Via the Stuffhub website, customers can upload their own design or logo, and select a shape, color, flavor, and desired quantity. Then Stuffhub takes this information and 3D prints a customized silicone mold, which they take to a candy store called Papabubble to have them turned into delectable candy. They make lollipops using the molds and then package the candy up and ship it to the customer’s doorstep.
Because the molds come in contact with food, special food-grade silicone must be used in the printing and casting process. The candy comes out of the molds perfectly safe to eat.
“Food grade silicone is a nontoxic silicone which [is] frequently being used for food mold casting,” explains Yang. “We surveyed several kinds of food grade silicone, factored in the epoxy curing time, finished mold quality, and ease of handling. And the lollipop is made by one of San Francisco’s best hand-made hard candy stores, Papabubble, so there is no doubt the quality and safety of these lollipops are the best.”
On top of this, Stuffhub has also made the 3D printable files available to download for free on Thingiverse.
As for Stuffhub themselves, they have a motto that states, “Everyone can be a designer,” and they have a goal of expanding the access of 3D printing to everyone. Founded by four close friends with a passion for technology, design, and online shopping, they provide a platform for connecting the general consumer market to 3D designers and rapid prototyping technology.
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