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Belgian Chocolatier Turns to 3D Printer for Easter Treats

Image: Three-dimensional Easter-themed shapes are pictured at Belgian chocolate company Miam Factory in Gembloux
Three-dimensional Easter-themed shapes printed at Belgian chocolate company Miam Factory in Gembloux, Belgium. Francois Lenoir / Reuters

Layer by layer, 0.008 inches at a time, a specialized printing machine at Belgian chocolate shop Miam Factory applies melted chocolate to shape a three-dimensional object.

Miam Factory - French for "Yum" - was spun off three months ago from nearby University of Liege's Smart Gastronomy Lab, which researches technology in the food and beverages sector, and operates four specialized 3D printers.

Image: A specialized 3D printing machine applies melted chocolate to shape a chocolate beer bottle at Belgian chocolate company Miam Factory in Gembloux
A 3D printing machine applies chocolate to a chocolate beer bottle. Francois Lenoir / Reuters

The company produces 3D-printed chocolate objects and also engraves chocolates and macaroons with messages or logos for clients, such as nearby brewery Bertinchamps.

The brewery wanted a unique prize for the winners of an Easter egg hunt and ordered chocolate beer bottles.

The chocolate is ready to eat straight after printing, which can take from 10 minutes to three hours. The bottles for the Bertinchamps Brewery took just under three hours and used up 80.7 feet of chocolate.

Image: Founder of the Miam Factory 3D printing chocolate company adjusts three-dimensional chocolate logos in Gembloux
Gaetan Richard, founder of Miam Factory, adjusts three-dimensional chocolate logos. Francois Lenoir / Reuters

The company gets orders from hotels, businesses and individual customers. Prices range greatly depending on what kind of size, shape and chocolate is required.

While dark chocolate is most popular, milk and white chocolate are also available.

Image: Founder of the Miam Factory 3D printing chocolate company displays a three-dimensional shape object in Gembloux
A three-dimensional chocolate printed at Miam Factory. Francois Lenoir / Reuters