This call for prior art is part of the EFF's effort to keep 3D printing open. Read about the initiative here, and check out Google Patents or the USPTO for full details about this particular application.
"Additive Manufacturing System and Method for Printing Customized Chocolate Confections"
This application claims that 3D printing with chocolate is sufficiently inventive to receive a patent, paving the way for every thermoplastic material to be covered by its own patent when used for 3D printing.
BASIC APPLICATION DATA:
- App Number: 13/432424
- Publication Number: US20120251688 A1
- Assignee: Stratasys, Inc.
- Prior Art Cutoff Date: Prior Art predating March 30, 2011
- Availability for Challenge: Open Until At Least April 4, 2013
APPLICATION OVERVIEW: This application claims the use of chocolate in extrusion-based 3D printing. The chocolate is held in a heated reservoir. When printing begins, the chocolate is pumped from the reservoir to the print head, while still being heated to maintain its temperature and tempered state. The print head then extrudes the chocolate material to build the 3D object. Unused chocolate in the print head is then sent back to the reservoir and heated again.
Claim 1 requires, among other things:
- An additive manufacturing system for printing a chocolate confection, the additive manufacturing system comprising:
at least one controller configured to receive instructions for printing the chocolate confection, and further configured to relay commands relating to the received instructions;
a recirculation loop configured to circulate a flow of a chocolate material, and further configured to maintain a temper of the chocolate material; and
a print head in signal communication with the at least one controller, the print head being configured to receive at least a portion of the chocolate material from the recirculation loop, and further configured to extrude and deposit the chocolate material onto the platen to print at least a portion of the chocolate confection based on the commands from the at least one controller.
WHY IT MATTERS: Printing with chocolate is wonderful, but this isn’t just about chocolate. There is a vast array of thermoplastic materials that can be used in 3D printing, and it should not be possible to get an exclusive patent on each new material that is used in conjunction with well-known technology. The use of a recirculation loop (sending unused print material back to the reservoir) is also an obvious idea.
Are you familiar with technology similar to that described in this patent application?
If so, please submit evidence of that prior art as an answer below. Please submit only one piece of prior art per answer below. We welcome multiple prior art proposals from the same individual; please create separate answers for each one. This is so the community can vet each individual piece of prior art independently.
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