In 1728 chocolate went from beig just a beverage to something similar to the solid tablet we know today. This phenomenon originated the appearence of master craftsmen who were in charge to give it a form and were called mouldmakers. There are many types of mouldmakers, but we will talk about the ones who work with chocolate in this article.
The traditional crafting process didn’t change much over the years. First of all, the object is designed, then it is sculpted using white clay which is copied by molding it using a harder material. The final object is used as a matrix to make moulds.
This is a 100% manual process, which defined the skills of a mouldmaker. The ones who worked in a much cleaner, more detailed way, creating pieces that were much easier to unmold, were highly valued.
With the emergence of the first industrial 3D printers a new, more technical way of simplified models production appeared, directed to industrrial and mass production, in order to minimize unmolding problems as well as to to make runs of hundreds of thousands of molds for supply the large market. It gained quantity but lost quality – care that only an expert hand of a master can give to a piece.
On the other hand, there are less and less masters mouldmakers that are active and whose manufacturing process hasn’t change much. Even though there is a wide range of materials and new forms of production of moulds as well as of matrices, there is an abyss between industrial and craft production.
With the emergence of 3D printing for general public, a new way have opened between both worlds. Nowadays, there are new softwares that allow artists to express themselves as an artist, not as a technician or a developer, so they can give it a personal touch and all the care a more intrincate piece could require.
Digital sculpture allows you to work in a clean, precise and effective way, without leaving aside the artistic qualities of the person who is using it. All of this creativity can be materialized with the current 3D printing technology. We are not talking about large industrial machines, which costs exceed 30.000€, but tabletop printers that allow you to work from a small workshop affordable to all audiences. The objects that come from these machines can be mechanized without having to go through another molding process, thus reducing costs.
And the most important thing is that one designer alone can can supply microfactories all over the world without an excessive transportation expenses.
In conclusion, as we were saying, we stand before the gates of a new technological revolution that will change the way we do things in chocolate and food sector, generating a process of change in mouldmakers, whom we could call mouldmakers 2.0, Matrice being a good example of that.