Thermoformed plastic sure will be FDA approved, as this is a standard
technology to produce chocolates. Perhaps you have to inform which type of
plastic to use, I assume mostly it will be plain PS (PolyStirene).
The procedure is: make one (positive) master geometry, vacuumform a
series of (negative) moulds, and use these to pour the chocolate into.
As the chocolate needs time to harden out, normally many moulds are used.
For real large series the alternative is to manufacture the moulds by
injection moulding (in polycarbonate). Now that positive/negative situation
becomes a bit complicated, as you have to produce moulds to create moulds.
The nice thing about chocolate moulds is that there are no undercuts
(otherwise the chocolate cannot fall out of the mould), and so you can use
the most simple and affordable RP technology of all: CNC milling.
We have recently completed a project with our DeskProto software and
a simple desktop CNC milling machine, creating a master in 'Metapor'
material, which is an airpermeable aluminum based material. This is ideal
for thermoforming the moulds.
In our case the original geometry was made in Rhino,
however STL files your modelling software would be OK as well.
Do visit us next month at the RP&M show in Rosemont and have a look
at the resulting chocolates in our showcase.
At 06:29 PM 3/24/00 -0500, you wrote:
>These are some answers to e-mails that I got regarding the chocolate molds:
>Why did I make the chocolates?
>I made the silicone mold in which I poured chocolate as a way to experiment
>with different rapid prototyping processes that use STL files. Our
>software (FreeForm) and hardware (Phantom desktop) allows modeling organic
>shapes in a way similar to the physical world. You can actually feel the
>model as you make it and for this reason it is very easy to model organic
>shapes. Later I plan to use FreeForm models to make porcelain and bronze
>sculptures among other things.
>Did I use any release agents for the chocolate?
>No. Silicone Rubber doesn't stick to the thermojet material or the
>Was it consumable?
>I used silicone E from Dow. As far as I know the FDA has not approved the
>process. If you want to do this you should consult Dow first. I don't
>recommend making chocolates from silicone for commercial purposes though.
>The chocolate takes a long time to cool off. In the future I plan to make
>thermoform molds which allows you to make a large quantity of chocolates. I
>am not sure which thermoformed plastic is FDA approved though.
>Feel free to contact me again if you have more questions.
Delft Spline Systems, The Netherlands.
We offer DeskProto: affordable Rapid Prototyping using CNC milling.
mailto:email@example.com --- website: http://www.deskproto.com
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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