If you have read my previous article on introducing MyCusini, well, they have kindly sent me one of their units to review. The MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer. They sent me the Earlybird II version, so let’s get Chocolate 3D printing!
The MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer came well packaged upon arrival. The primary packaging itself was clean and straightforward. However, I found it odd that the main packaging did not have its brand name on there? Just “3D Printer”. The printer itself is sandwiched with sturdy polystyrene, top, and bottom, so it is well protected from any knocks — the power supply in bubble wrap and the other parts in a plastic bag. There is also a piece of card to stop the extruder part moving during transit.
Inside the MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer package, you will find the following:
- The printer itself (with SD card already inserted)
- Power supply
- Print surface
- Build plate
- Catalogue of prints
- USB SD card adapter
- USB cable
- Pin (this is secured in a packing peanut)
- Stainless steel tube
- Holder for the stainless steel tube
- 5 x Chocolate refills (Equates to 10 as you cut them in half)
The MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer is solidly built using laser-cut plastic and metal parts for the mechanics. Everything is pretty much enclosed with the wires being wrapped up, so it protects all. I noticed that there is an extra hole for a stepper motor and two bolt holes. I do not understand what these are for, so perhaps future upgrades could be available to use these? As a result, taking advantage of this, I designed myself a caddy to hold my chocolate refills in. I am not an expert designer but using Tinkercad, I knocked something up quickly, and it does the job! It requires more tweaking for this, so this isn’t the last model.
The printer is quiet at the start, and then the stepper motor noise kicks in while printing. There is no cooling fan for the extruder, so that helps with the noise level also. With rubber-mounted feet, the printer sits sturdy on the surface. The MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer is small and compact in size and easy to move around. It certainly is no bigger than a coffee machine!
Let’s get started!
Firstly, I removed the piece of card securing the extruder part and secondly, placed the magnetic build plate followed by the silicon build surface. Check to make sure the SD card is inserted. Plugin the power supply and initiate the power! The first step to get printing is getting the printer ready to insert the chocolate. A few moments after powering on, pressing on the wheel will bring up a menu. Choose Produce Object, and you will be prompted to Change cartridge now?. By choosing Yes, this will then move the extruder so you can load your chocolate after following the below.
Now it’s time to prepare your chocolate. They come in packs of 5, vacuum-sealed. They sort of look like cigars or a pepperami! Included with the MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer is a template to cut the chocolate in half in order to load into the machine. The chocolate is wrapped in plastic with a metal clip either end. Once cut, you place the cut end down (still with the plastic on) into the stainless steel housing with the metal clip facing up, of which then goes into the plastic housing which then secures to the printer.
If you find you cannot fit the housing onto the printer after cutting the chocolate, trim a little bit more off the chocolate and it should then fit. Once you have finished all this, click on Done and then the printer will start preheating. It takes approx 10 minutes to preheat the chocolate; however, if you do a print after each model, no preheating is required. It seems it’s just for when you load up new chocolate the preheat is needed.
What to print?
Compiled on the included SD card are many files of which you can choose from to print. As the MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer is from Germany, all the folder names were in German. Not an issue, though. I just renamed the folders when inserting the SD card into my PC. Here are the following categories you can choose from:
- Countries and Cities
As part of MyCusini, they have a dedicated club website of which you register with your email and serial of your machine, and this then opens up more features for you and your MyCusini chocolate 3D Printer! With these tools, you can create your own words, freehand drawing and also outline drawing. I believe they are looking into using your own STL’s in order to print these. Exciting times ahead!
Let’s print some Chocolate!
With the loads of different models to choose from, that MyCusini provides, it was tricky knowing where to start! As I am a great lover of coffee, my very first print was a coffee cup image! When beginning the print after loading up your chocolate, you are prompted to turn the control wheel to start the extrusion to push the chocolate out until you get a steady stream. This is priming the nozzle for your print. This did not print well at all! Not to be disheartened, I just printed something else. This time, it was a banana!
Success! It seems I did not prime the nozzle enough to begin with, so bear that in mind when doing your first print! Get a good string of chocolate going. These prints don’t take long at all to print. It’s a matter of minutes. Also, once printing has finished, ensure you leave for a few minutes for the chocolate to cool and harden whilst on the build plate otherwise, you may damage it. The silicon build surface is excellent. As a result, no adhesion problems here, and by just flexing it, you can lift the print off in 1 piece using the supplied tweezers to limit the damage!
Let’s chocolate print some more!
I am in awe of the MyCusini chocolate 3D Printer…it’s so easy to use! Still, on my first refill, I thought I would try a hollow vase. The print looks great, and it seems the extrusion works perfectly now! The display on the printer gives you a percentage on how much chocolate you have left, which is good, and when you run out, it will tell you. Does it resume printing after loading up more chocolate? Unfortunately, not. As a result, this means that you will have to ensure you have enough chocolate left for your next print! You can view a printing tutorial video from MyCusini of the printer in action below..
More prints below from the MyCusini chocolate 3D Printer!
How does it taste?
I imagine this is a big question of everyone’s lips…how does it taste? It is a pleasant taste! It has more of a dark chocolate vibe with a hint of vanilla, not too sweet and not bitter at all. The chocolate that is used is a “Legal Chocolate grease glaze”. This means that instead of cocoa butter, other vegetable fats are used, such as coconut oil so that the curing of the chocolate takes place quicker, of which as a result means taller objects can be printed, however, it is limited to 50mm high otherwise the chocolate could become unstable.
Here are the ingredients:
Sugar, fully hydrogenated vegetable fats (coconut, palm kernel), cocoa powder, vanilla extract, stabilizer: sorbitan tristearate, emulsifier: soya lecithin. May contain traces of milk and nuts
Nutritional values per 100g
|Energy: 2296kJ / 549 kcal||Fat: 36 g|
|of which saturates: 33g||Carbohydrate: 47g|
|of which sugars: 45g||Salt: 0,01g|
At the moment, refills are only available via MyCusini at a price of €7,71 for ten refills. They come in a pack of 5, but as you cut them in half, it is technically 10. You then have your P&P charges on top, therefore this bumps up the price, especially being in the UK. In addition, the prints are relatively small and quick to print so your refills should last you a while. Each chocolate refill weighs 15g, and I would estimate you could get approx 10 prints out of 1 refill, but obviously depends on the size of the model you are printing.
As previously mentioned, you have the option of printing your own words, drawings, and outlines. You get access to these via the Mycusini Club once you have registered your Mycusini Chocolate 3D Printer on their site. Within here, you have access to the template library (of which all are on the SD card anyway), Tips & Tricks which give you the instructions to download and some videos. There are also various applications to choose which are detailed below. When going into each application, they present you with an option to choose which method of printing you are doing. There is only Choco at the moment, so it’s possible MyCusini will expand on this in future developments. Let’s see what the applications are.
Here you can write your own text, of which it will join the letters up. You can change the size and height.
Here you can write a text that isn’t joined up and also change the font. There are currently only four fonts to choose from, but hopefully, this will expand. Again, you can change the height and size of the text.
This is where you can show off your creativity! Freehand drawing allows you just that! Draw to your heart’s content and then print out your masterpiece in chocolate!
With the Trace Outlines feature, you upload an image of your choice, and this then acts as a background of which you can trace around the picture. The trace lines show up green, so you know where you’re going. As a result, this then gives you the file of which you can then print with the MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer!
In addition to the normal features that come with the MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer, the additional features are a cleaning mode and advanced cleaning mode. When you have finished printing and now you won’t use it for a while, the cleaning mode allows you to get the extruder to clean it. It also moves the plunger down for ease of cleaning too. There is also an advanced cleaning function that allows you to remove the plunger altogether, of which you can then wash all the parts by hand, or in the dishwasher! See the videos below…
Another neat feature to add to the already amazing MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer is the ability for mobile printing! It is not yet available, but prototypes have meant that by using a battery, the printer can run continuously for 2 hours…how outstanding does that sound!?
Have I encountered any issues with the Mycusini Chocolate 3D Printer? Not really, no. A couple of things I feel could be improved, for instance is the placement of the logo on the actual machine. The logo is located on the side of the printer. Whereas I think it should be at the front under the screen for the fact being that’s where the prints finish when the build plate moves to the front. It seems odd that the logo is to the left side of the machine.
I have noticed a little lag on the screen when browsing through menus. If your primed and ready to go, when browsing through the list. The top line of the screen goes over the top of the text is on the next list.
Finally, the power jack and USB port are at the top of the machine. I feel it would be beneficial to move these to the bottom so you don’ have wires hanging down from the top of the machine. Minor things I know; however, there is always room for improvement! I have passed my feedback on to MyCusini, so let us see what happens.
** NEW UPDATED ON 20/7/2020**
What’s new with MyCusini?
Since my review of the MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer, there have been further developments from the MyCusini team including new flavours of MyCusini chocolate, accessories, new templates and even packaging boxes! MyCusini sent me a bundle of items. Please read on to find out more about the chocolaty goodness on offer and to see what’s new!
What did I get?
- Gift boxes
- Made with love stickers
- Recipe book
- Template Library Book
- Updated SD card
- Praline filling
- Raspberry Chocolate
- Coconut Chocolate
- Orange Chocolate
- Ribbon (not pictured)
MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer Accessories
- SD Card
The SD card includes loads of new ready-made STL files, besides the files from the first release. These can also be found within the MyCusini Club template library.
- Template Library Book
This gives you a visual guide on what the included templates will look like. This is an impressive addition and gives you something to refer to quickly! It also shows you how much % of chocolate it will use which is handy, so you’ll know if you still have enough left as unfortunately, there is no option to pause the print and refill if required.
- Recipe Book
Another impressive addition is this recipe book. It gives you some recipes, of which you can then decorate with your 3D printed chocolate creations! They give you the recommended file to used to decorate.
A nice selection of giftboxes, and also some “Made with love” stickers…a nice touch! However, I find that the giftboxes are not really suitable for 3D printed chocolate. Mainly due to the size, which in turn can result in the very fragile chocolate prints moving around causing them to break. If the boxes were flatter and slightly smaller, I’m sure this would help greatly. There is always the option of making your own boxes if you have the know-how!
Besides everything above, there are also extra features on the MyCusini club website! Within the Applications section, you can now print your own STL files, outline your own STL files and even hollow mold your own STL files! Let’s give them all a try…
- Print your own STL file – This is a simple function. Load up your STL file, resize as needed and save! I used the file used for the Verkstan Faceshields which has been widely used across the globe!
- Outline your own STL file – For this one, I loaded up Tinkercad and put in my own text, then exported as an STL. The STL was then uploaded to the MyCusini Club application, and the gcode generated.
- Hollow mold from your own STL file – I used Windows built in 3D Builder for this. I just inserted a pyramid and saved as an STL. Import into the hollow mould application on Mycusini club and size to your needs and that’s it! The best thing with this being 3D printed, you can easily slice between the layer lines in order to fill it with praline, and then stick the top back on!
I have suggested to MyCusini about introducing a pause option so you can fill the chocolate part way through the print.
There are also more Tips & Tricks added to the Mycusini club which includes instruction videos, FAQ’s and more! To gain access to the MyCusini club, you will have to be in possession of a MyCusini Chocolate 3D printer as it uses the serial number for registration.
The Raspberry chocolate has a slight scent to it, along with a slight raspberry taste. I was expecting this to taste sweet, however; it doesn’t! Not too overpowering and has a wonderful balance of taste.
This coconut chocolate has that very distinct coconut smell, which is great! Again, like the Raspberry, it is not overpowering, but you can definitely taste it! The strongest tasting one out of the three.
Finally, the Orange Chocolate. You would expect this to have an aromatic scent, but like the others, it’s very slight. Probably the weakest tasting of the lot, although still good! If you’re expecting a Terry’s Chocolate Orange taste, think again!
In my pack, I got 4 different flavours of fillings. Each were 30g packs. Before using, knead the packs to get a good consistency so you can squeeze it out of the packet. However, you could use warm water too. After kneading, just snip off the corner and you’re ready. Once opened, you need to store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks! Once you have filled your chocolates, use the end of some tweezers, or a cocktail stick to smooth the filling around to get it looking more professional.
- Peach & Passionfruit – This is a nice, sweet and fruity filling. With the subtle notes of peach and a big hit of passionfruit. This one is tasty!
- Sour Cherry Yoghurt – Within the filling, you can see chunks of cherry, which is an indicator this isn’t just full of artificial flavours! This one is a delicate blend of cherry yoghurt (which is one of my favourite flavours!) making you want more!
- Irish Cream Coffee – A chocolate filling with a good kick of Irish coffee. This is definitely one for the coffee lovers!
- Marc De Champagne – This one tastes exactly as I was expecting. Pretty much the same as other chocolates I have tried with this filling. A good filling for chocolate wedding favours!
Once you have filled your chocolates, put them in the fridge so they can set more rigidly. I did a selection of different flavour chocolates with a variety of fillings for the family. They all went down a treat!
How much is it, and where can I get one?
The MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer is available for just €403.68*. Delivery to the UK is €26.16. (* Price correct as of July 2020) If you are seriously considering getting one of these, you can purchase them from MyCusini on their website. I recommend it… it will not disappoint you.
The chocolate flavours cost €7.71 each. This includes all the flavours – Dark, Coconut, Orange & Raspberry. You can also get a mixed pack which includes all the flavours for €38.51 (2 dark and 1 of each other flavour) The fillings are available in packs of 8 at €15.40 each. A sample pack of 3 flavours is €12.13. This contains 2 of each flavour (Irish Cream Coffee, Marc De Champagne & Peach and Passionfruit) Unfortunately, the Sour Cherry Yoghurt was out of stock at the time of writing this review.
The gift boxes are priced from €2.20 for a pack of 4 up to €3.94. Alternatively, a mixed 10 pack is just €8! In addition, other accessories are also available.
To sum up, I adore the MyCusini Chocolate 3D Printer! It’s so easy to use and setup! The prints come out with significant results, and everyone I have shown the prints too is amazed! In addition, if you want to get your kids into 3D printing, this is an excellent starting point. Any mess you make, you just lick it up! Although the refills can be on the pricey side, give it time, and you’ll soon be able to make your own refills.
There is a limited build size. However, it is more than adequate for its purpose. The included library is excellent and being part of the Mycusini club means you’ll get access to any new additions that are made. With future enhancements to look forward to such as using your own STL files, mobile printing and being able to use your own chocolate. Mycusini is paving the way for food in the 3D printing industry for consumers, so I look forward to what is coming!
Having a variety of different flavours means there is more for everyone! There is no doubt in my mind, that over time more great flavours will be developed, for the fillings and chocolate. The prices of these items do reflect the fact that these are more bespoke, especially with the chocolate designed for use with the printer so therefore may seem expensive. If you own a MyCusini Chocolate 3D printer, these are a worthy addition meaning you can do more and in addition broaden your horizons!
Future flavours I would like to see if perhaps a mint chocolate and a hazelnut chocolate. As, for fillings…peanut butter maybe, or even a white chocolate filling!
MyCusini gets a massive thumbs up from me!