by Sydney Dahl
Haven’t you always dreamt of having miniature, edible figurines of yourself? Yeah, neither did I. At least not until this possibility became a reality in one of my classes last quarter. Taking ME480 (one of our AM classes) with Professor Storti opened up endless possibilities for creative gifts… assuming your friends would enjoy, quite literally, biting your head off (like mine did).
Food friendly molds were used to create the gummi and chocolate figurines. A two sided mold set was required to create the figurine of a single person (one for the front and one for the back, which are put together to create a mold for the full body.)
The process to create these molds began by 3D scanning ourselves using the Microsoft 360 Kinect scanner in the lab and ReconstructMe software (. These scans were then imported into Rhino3D to create the inverse of the desired final molds. Once the 3D model was completed, they were printed on the 3DP powder printer, also located in the lab. Below you can see the mold parts — one intact and another that was not so lucky. These molds halves together create the full 3D figurine. Both of the parts below have been waxed after being printed on the 3DP powder printer.
A food-grade Silicone mold material was then poured into these 3DP printed parts to create the final molds. The final molds (the pink squares below) were used to create various kinds of edible figurines. First up: melted gummi bears.
The first run of gummi bears was not very successful. Without using any type of non-stick spray the gummi figurines were really hard to remove from the molds and looked more like an elongated Stretch Armstrong than a person. The next round produced much more desirable results. For this more successful batch, some standard non-stick spray was used before putting in the melted gummi bears and the molds were allowed to set overnight.
Next up: chocolate. Only one chocolate mold was attempted and it cracked, unfortunately. Others in the class were more successful in their chocolate casting endeavors than us. Below you can see some of the attempted casted figurines. Helpful hint: Don’t leave these out on the counter when your roommates are hungry.