The Hershey Company has agreed to a multi-year development agreement with 3D Systems to create a variety of 3D printed chocolate and non-chocolate products and consumer and professional 3D food printers.
"Mainstreaming 3D printing is fundamental to our success and we are fortunate to partner with Hershey, the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and confection, to expand the 3D printing experience into delectable edibles," Chuck Hull, 3D Systems' CTO, said in a statement.
Last week, 3D Systems unveiled two new 3D printers at CES that can print various confections, including chocolate.
3D Systems' new ChefJet 3D Printer series, can print confections. The company last year announced that it was developing a 3D food printer.
The ChefJet printer is expected to sell for less than $5,000, while the larger ChefJet Pro (also about the size of a washing machine) will retail in the sub-$10,000 range.
The ChefJet can build an object up to 8 in. x 8 in. x 6 in. in size, and the ChefJet Pro can print up to 10 in. x 14 in x 8 in. Both printers can use several flavors including chocolate, vanilla, mint, sour apple, cherry and watermelon.
The machines can print cake toppers, centerpieces, garnishes and custom candies.
3D Systems' new alliance with Hershey will give the company access to food science and manufacturing expertise.
"We believe that innovation is key to delivering relevant, compelling consumer experiences with our iconic brands," William Papa, Hershey's chief research and development officer, said in a statement. "Whether it's creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future."
Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.