Instead of taking current 3D printing technologies and then rigging them into a 3D printer for chocolates, ChocaByte went about it with the goal of trimming everything down to a mechanism that's as simple as possible. And after all the unnecessary functionality has been stripped, they ended up with an affordable $99 machine that can adequately perform the job.
Using a syringe-based design, the extrusion printer can build small, edible chocolate shapes that measure up to 2 x 2 x 1 inches (l x w x h). Granted, that is nowhere near as awe-inducing as the large forms you can render with the ChefJet, but little chocolate trinkets clad in an assortment of custom shapes sound pretty exciting all the same.
Made by Solid Idea, the ChocaByte looks more like a larger coffee press than a 3D printer, with the mechanism for the X, Y, Z axis installed at the bottom and a syringe extruding the chocolate mounted on top. It prints at a resolution of 1.5mm per layer and is recommended only for simple designs. You can, of course, experiment with complex structures like overhangs, although it's been rigged as a purely starter tool, so there's no guarantee those can work.
Oh yeah, the printer doesn't have a built-in heating system, so you'll have to heat the chocolate yourself before manually pouring it onto the syringe. Yeah, it's tedious, but, hey, still beats having to make custom molds every time you want to make a new shape.
A first run of 500 ChocaByte units is currently in the works, with a release planned within the next three months. You can pre-order directly from their website, with chocolate cartridges selling at $10 for a set of four.