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23/01/2014 13:00 | By Debra Waters, editor, MSN Food
The future for food: 3D edible sculptures

Q&A with Liz von Hasseln of The Sugar Lab

The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • The Sugar Lab (© The Sugar Lab)
  • Sugar Lab (© Sugar Lab)
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MSN Food editor Debra Waters talks to Liz von Hasseln - co-founder of The Sugar Lab and who, with her husband Kyle, heads up food printing at 3D Systems in the US - about the amazing food sculptures being produced with 3D printing technology. Scroll through the gallery to read the interview and to feast your eyes on The Sugar Lab's wonderful creations.

You produce custom 3D sugar: why did you decide to set up a company that can do this?

Kyle (von Hasseln, my husband) and I have backgrounds in architecture. In architecture school we were introduced to 3D printing, and quickly became fascinated with the technology, and with experimenting with 3D printing and novel 3D printing materials. Sugar came about a bit by accident; our friend Chelsea's birthday was coming up, and we had promised to make her a cake, but had forgotten that we actually didn't have an oven in our tiny graduate-student apartment! But we did have a 3D printer, so we wondered if it would be possible to just 3D print her a cake, instead. It took some trial and error, but eventually (months past her actual birthday) we managed to print a tiny cupcake topper that spelled her name in cursive sugar. Chelsea loved it so much that we thought other people might like it, too! When we graduated, we decided to start The Sugar Lab, a micro-design firm for custom 3D printed sugar.

In September 2013, The Sugar Lab was acquired by 3D Systems. It was a perfect fit, because we were already using 3D Systems technology, and because our vision for 3D printing aligns so well with 3D Systems' vision for democratising the technology. Kyle and I are thrilled to be a part of the company, running The Sugar Lab as a food brand of 3D Systems, and directing food printing as Creative Directors Food Products.

Next: how is it done?

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03/02/2014 12:59
alright if you want to make a sugary biscuit. Not so good for soups, curries and stews.
03/02/2014 15:25
avatar've made some sugary things in a particular shape. Is it just me, or does all this 3d printer thing just seem like a so what!? Have they actually made anything new, or is it not just another pointless, expensive device for us to be expected to realise we now can't live without? Nothing new here, as far as I can see, move along.
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