Brian Begun longed to spend more time with his family. Working in the Visual Effects field as a Senior Compositor for movies such as Pacific Rim and Star Trek: Into Darkness may seem like a dream job to many, but in reality it left very little personal time. There were very long hours with little control over one’s schedule and he found himself spending less time with his son. So when an idea for chocolate manufacturing came to him while searching for unique guest favors for his wedding, Brian decided to follow his passion. Rather than dismiss it as a passing fancy, he committed to a complete career change.
“I love chocolate and I love creative problem solving,” he explained during a very enlightening interview. It made perfect sense to combine the two. “I’ve always been interested in doing unique and unconventional things, which served me well in the visual effects field, so I was very excited to try it with making chocolate.” He came up with an idea, patent pending, to create chocolate molds using 3D scanning/printing technology.
But Why 3D technology?
“There is much more flexibility. Traditional chocolate molds use an artist’s representation of the original object. It is sketched, then that sketch is used to make the mold. This process is subject to the artist’s interpretation, and each artist has their own (interpretation). A lot of the details are lost in this process, so the rendering of the original is flawed,” Brian explained. He gave a hypothetical example of a couple’s 50 year anniversary party. Say that the husband gave his wife a very delicate brooch when they first married and they wanted to give their guests chocolates in the shape of that brooch. “If we used a hand-held 3D scanner and then 3D printed it, we would be able to make an exact replica of the broach, with many minor details intact, which would have been very difficult to do using traditional means.” Also, with 3D scanning, changes can be made to design, without making several new molds. “If we wanted to change the size, or the dimensions, all we would have to do is go into the program and make those changes. With traditional means, a new mold would have to be made every time we wanted to make a change. This would be very time-consuming and expensive,” he explained.
So far, several businesses have expressed an interest in Everything’s Made of Chocolate. These businesses see an opportunity to provide unique gifts to clients and for their conference attendees at a reasonable price. Naturally, this is the direction that Brian sees his company following in the near future. “In the short-term, we’ll concentrate on business to business sales, and later on we’ll look into direct consumer sales.” This will be achieved through an e-commerce site, as opposed to a physical location, since market research reveals that potential customers prefer the convenience of online shopping. It is also a cost-effective measure; a regular brick and mortar store is more expensive to maintain.
The long-term goals for Everything’s Made of Chocolate include securing a foothold in the speciality gifting industry and offering a wide range of gift packages to consumers. They hope to establish a comfortable niche, as opposed to a wide-reaching monopoly. The future looks bright. Not only is chocolate a very popular treat, but the development of the 3D printing industry is geared to take off in upcoming years. Brian likens the potential of 3D printing to the curve of traditional 2D printers. “Not too long ago, it was cheaper to go to a printing store, such as Kinko’s or Office Depot to make document copies since the price of a personal printer was so high. Now, it is possible to purchase a very high quality traditional printer for less than $100. I think 3D printing is at the beginning of that curve. Right now, the costs associated with personal 3D Printing is still a bit high, but I think those costs should drop consistently over the next few years.”
Currently, the company is running a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo. It expires on October 27, so there is still time left to help them out! You can keep up to date with any developments at the company’s website, everythingsmadeofchocolate.com. You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.
From the All About 3D Printing team, we wish Everything’s Made of Chocolate much success in the future!
What People Think About “Everything’s Made Of Chocolate” Chocolates:
Happy (and tasty) Printing!