Soon you'll be able to 3D print chewing gum in any shape or flavor you want

3d printed chewing gum wacker druck
Everyone loves sweets, and 3D-printed confectionery is all rage in the closing months of 2016. Now, German company Wacker has just announced its latest addition to a growing genre: 3D-printed chewing gum.

Set to be unveiled at the ProSweets Cologne fair in early 2017, the company claims to have reinvented chewing gum with a technology that allows it be printed on a variety of different shapes and flavors.

“Generally speaking, chewing gum is a very complex food matrix with unique physical properties, such as its intrinsic elasticity and high viscosity even at elevated temperatures,” Martin Seizl, business development manager at Wacker, told Digital Trends. “This makes fused deposition modeling very challenging. Furthermore, the printed product should be tasty and keep its shape over time. Our experts have succeeded in overcoming these challenges by rethinking chewing gum formulations from scratch and optimizing commercially available 3D-printing hardware and software.”

As a longtime supplier of raw materials for the chewing gum industry, Seizl said that Wacker’s goal spans all manner of customizations for gum.

“[We are] currently still evaluating the possibilities of this new technology, in particular variation of colors, shapes and flavors,” he continued. “These could be individually personalized. Generally, we see a trend toward individualized food products, may it be for commercial purposes such as marketing and advertising or just for personal use.”

There’s no definitive word on when 3D-printed gum will be making its ways to our, well, mouths, but if it follows in the footsteps of other 3D-printed candy companies, it’s easy to imagine there being demand for customizable chewing gum in some form.

Wacker will also use the ProSweets Cologne 2017 fair to unveil another innovation: its so-called CANDY2GUM technology, which allows it to create a sweet which first tastes and feels like gummy candy and then transforms into chewing gum as it is chewed.

Of course, the “industry first” that we’re really waiting for is the first person to stick a piece of 3D-printed chewing gum to the underside of a piece of 3D-printed furniture. Now that will be a manufacturing landmark to hit!

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Smart Home

The best smart locks turn your phone into a key

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Home Theater

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed

After Sony’s utterly bizarre press conference, I almost missed what was perhaps the most impactful sonic experience at the show. Luckily, I went back to Sony’s booth on the last day of the show, only to have my mind blown.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.