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I need to make chocolate busts.

Is it better to make silicon reverse of the bust and cast the bust or directly print it using chocolate printer (I prefer cost and process speed over quality)? I don't have chocolate printer so if this method will be better I will need to use some 3D printing service.

I need to make quite a large amount of the busts.

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For your application, you should 3d print a positive model, then make a silicone mould negative of that model. Then use the silicone mould to make the final chocolate. Clean the silicone thoroughly before initial use. Fill gaps in the 3d printed model with a light epoxy resin. Use mould release and ensure you wash and sterilize that silicon mould before using it with chocolate.

An actual chocolate printer is not easy to come by, as a normal 3d printer converted to use chocolate is not able to be sterilized for food use. The video in the link illustrates one person's attempt at this process.

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  • $\begingroup$ That video was spectacular. $\endgroup$ – Dr. Mantis Tobbogan Aug 6 at 23:44
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In my experience, direct printing of chocolate is tedious because:

  1. It has to be around 88 C to melt; and
  2. It doesn't solidify very quickly at normal room temperature.

Unless you can print in a chilled environment (freezer is better than refrigerator), you will likely wind up printing a chocolate puddle. Even then, you have to heat not only the reservoir but also the entire nozzle (or it may solidify in the nozzle).

Also, some chocolates have issues if they freeze or become overheated, so it's a very tight tolerance with the temperatures.

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I prefer ... process speed

Printing is unlikely to win that battle. You might print a plastic mold once you can use for casts, but if you do make sure you use a liner of some kind. 3d-printed plastics are not considered food-safe.

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  • $\begingroup$ I got idea to make the bust from plastic and use it for making the mold from some food-safe silicon. $\endgroup$ – doc. Chocholoušek Aug 6 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ That could work very well. $\endgroup$ – Joel Coehoorn Aug 6 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ Direct printing of chocolate is tedious because if it doesn't solidify very quickly (like, print in a chilled environment) you wind up printing a chocolate puddle. I've done it. $\endgroup$ – Davo Aug 6 at 17:12

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