One piece of prior art to this one (non-cylindrical feedstock) is here:
by me...; the blog post is about rectangular cross-section feedstock
(cut from a drink bottle, but it would obviously work with any source
of a rectangular shape). It also priorartizes (can that be a word?)
the separate idea ...
Please people understand Patent Terminology in this space. All of this stuff is described as solid freeform fabrication...housed under Class 425 Subclass 174 at the USPTO. I used to examine this entire spectrum of technology for years!
http://www.google.com/patents/US6280785 (Base 103 ...
I contributed to a project on github github: https://github.com/reprappro/host which is about an implementation of a slicer in java.
And it contains code that allows to do what this patent claims:
The file PolygonList.java contains this at line 1204: https://github.com/reprappro/host/blob/master/src/org/reprap/geometry/polygons/PolygonList.java#L1204
"Temper" is a technical term referring to the structure of the chocolate. If you overheat it at any point in the loop, and then cool it again, it will harden with a bad texture and an oily feel. You then have to do a recrystallization ("tempering") protocol to get it back into good shape.
So they appear to be claiming keeping the chocolate in temper around ...
stumbled onto this from searching 3D printing.
Any curtain coating process will likely be recirculating the product, and confectionary producer curtain coating with chocolate will be recirculating the chocolate.
Hence documents such as
The key to this claim is the recirculation of material however it is broad. Not sure where to find prior art on this subject specific to chocolate. There should be more specifics on the recirculation claim since other 3d printers recirculate material.
Page 23 - Describing Chocolate through extrusion ...
The process of plastic welding (quite related to 3D printing) has used plastic welding
ribbon that is a flat tape for many years.
The companies from NZ have used it longest. Here's a web site for feed stock.
Sorry did not notice the PA cutoff date...
I chatted about that maybe 2 years ago on IRC #reprap. If there's a log and it is usable I could search for it (nick Action68).
The issue rose when I tried to print with PMMA. I used sheet acrylic and cut it to slices with a laser cutter.
Why yes, I am knowledgeable about prior art for Chocolate printing. I mention it in my provisional patent application for mass-customization online in a 2006 patent filing.
Provisional 60/747,601 Filed May 18th, 2006. The patent was concerted to an actual Patent in May 2007 and has 5 co-pending Continuation-In-Part Applications pertaining to Chocolate and ...
The concept of terminating seams in the inside has been used when manufacturing clothing for centuries. Applying this to 3D printing is not an inventive step and is an obvious application to anyone trained in the art.
Compare the drawings in the patent with cross-sections of sewing seams of various forms, in particular the "French Seam."
How about this video?
For the ribbon extrusion, one may point out that plastic welding has used
non-round or ribbon shaped materials for many years (see this video from 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvV9a3lEe2g).
Example use: http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~ece549/spring12/team10/
Others on the web:
There is nothing new about recirculating chocolate in a tempered state, the concept is a standard part of tempering machines that are used to hand fill moulds.
All the electronics and print head stuff sounds like basic extrusion printing, nothing new here.