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How to overcome 3D chocolate designer's block

Mar 14, 2017

Despite the endless possibilities for creating unique miniature 3D chocolates, our chocolatier users occasionally come to us during periods of "designer's block" for inspiration and advice.

Much like writer's block, starting a design session with a blank canvas can be quite daunting, especially when the software, hardware ( Choc Creator V2.0 Plus ) and methodology is completely new to the user.

The process of rendering a 3D model can be a challenge even for an experienced user who knows exactly what they want to achieve, so here's some advice our design team have previously given users who had plenty of freshly tempered chocolate at hand but were fresh out of ideas.

Design isn't all about software and technology - It's also about training your eyes to see everything in a way that sends sparks of inspiration to the creative part of the brain. As a starting point, purchase a pocket sketchpad - This will be your new best friend in the fight to overcome designer's block. Take a pencil and draw the outline of a 4x4x4cm cube to scale, which will act as your design canvas and help to condition your mind to work only within the limitations of these measurements. Any ideas for 3D models can be sketched inside the cube using a thick marker pen, and anything that cannot comfortably fit inside the cube can be quickly discarded as it won't likely work as a design. For inspiration, step out of the studio and spend an afternoon with your sketchbook in the city. Visit any local parks, florists, museums or streets with unusual architecture. The aim of the visit is to look at things with very different eyes, focusing on the shapes and structures of both organic and man-made objects. Pay attention to any forms that sprout upwards, twist, intertwine, or have a structural pattern. Inspiration for miniature 3D objects can be found everywhere in almost anything.

For standard chocolate printing, color information is not important, as is the need for any areas of fine detail, so anyone looking for a challenge can try training their eyes to see only the kinds of simple shapes they need to. As with some of the most beautiful paintings and sculptures ever created, forms don't need to be figurative to be exciting or appealing - Complex objects and figurative shapes can be broken down into simple abstract (non-figurative) forms that retain much of the beauty and excitement of the original.

Take our UnUlam Spiral design as an example; The idea for this design came from glancing at a textbook of math problems. The spiral was carefully rendered in 3D software, and the final model was twisted and skewed before exporting it as an STL. When printed, the 0.8mm lines of chocolate created a ribbed effect that added to the pattern of lines travelling in multiple directions.

For those users who really want to get a feel for 3D abstract art, we recommend visiting a sculpture gallery in your area or taking a look at an online gallery.

If you're interested in getting creative with 3D chocolate printing, contact our sales team for a  Choc Creator V2.0 Plus  quote.