This was a colossal failure learning experience (thanks Cyndi!), so expect a lot of failures before you get to eat some chocolate!

Nearly eight hours of work, and this was the final result! Nearly eight hours of work, and this was the final result! The back of my head was the only part that popped out of the mold.

Making a mold with a 3D printer isn’t a new idea, but to celebrate the holiday season, I figured it would be fun to make some edible chocolate replicas of my face with a 3D printed chocolate mold. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN.

One of the empty moldsOne of the empty molds (check out the weird optical illusion on the right!)

Usually, a 3D printed part is used to make a silicone mold, which is then filled and opened to produce a part. Being in a hurry, I tried the method of creating a mold and filling it directly.

The two pieces after being attached and securedThe two pieces after being attached and secured

In an attempt to create a smooth mold, we first tried to give the mold cavity an Acetone Vapor Bath to smooth it out. Because of the size of the mold, we couldn’t actually get it into any vessel full of acetone. Instead, we put a pan of acetone on the stove and tried to boil it directly.

*THIS IS NOT A GOOD, SAFE, OR EVEN SANE IDEA. DON’T DO THIS.*

After we all sat down and took a nap (we were tired from all the fumes), we washed out the mold, which had virtually no change in appearance after the ineffective acetone bath.

Lots of water got trapped in the mold after washing, so we had to dry them off manuallyLots of water got trapped in the mold after washing, so we had to dry them off manually. I burned my hand about 3 seconds after this picture was taken.

Actually injecting the melted chocolate was another problem, as it didn’t really flow at all. It basically hardened the instant it hit the mold, making it difficult to force down into the sprue.

Cyndi attempting to manually force chocolate in the mold
Attempting to manually force chocolate in the moldCyndi attempting to manually force chocolate in the mold

The chocolate was simply too thick to flow, so we used a makeshift frosting extruder to try and force it into the mold.

A printed funnel and a ziploc bag was used to force the chocolate into the moldA printed funnel and a ziploc bag was used to force the chocolate into the mold

In addition, due to the single sprue, there was nowhere for the air to go, so the chocolate didn’t really flow into the model. Definitely learned something for next time! There was no real way to tell how much chocolate was in the mold, so we just tried to guesstimate. We guesstimated incorrectly. 

Now I know why my mom always said I was an air head!Now I know why my mom always said I was an air head!

Definitely a project worth repeating, but we’ll be making some design changes next time!