At Ignitec we love to experiment with new processes and find new ways to make cool things, not to mention any excuse to play with our new Objet 3D printer (no we are still not bored of it yet!). So with Easter approaching and the thought of chocolate on all of our minds we had an idea; our logo is a hare, which is kind of topical for Easter, so we decided to make some chocolate Easter Ignitec hares. We have written a short guide to how we moulded choclate using food grade silicone for anyone who feels like melting down a few of those chocolate eggs and getting creative this Easter!

1. Design the shape of the chocolates and arrange them leaving 5-10mm between. Then create a walls and a base to form a container around them which will hold the liquid silicone.

2. Use a very high resolution 3D printer or a CNC milling machine to create your master pattern and seal it using a light coat of gloss lacquer

3. Measure and mix food grade silicone rubber and pour into the master pattern taking care to avoid trapping air bubble. This can be difficult but pouring a thin, steady strand of silicone from a height is our trick or alternatively you can use a vacuum chamber if you have one.

4. Once the silicone has cured it can be peeled away from the master and you will have a perfect impression. Give this a very thorough wash with washing up liquid.

5. Use a warm water jacket to melt your broken choclate until it is silky and flows consistently with no lumps, 40 degrees celcius is ideal. If it gets too hot for too long it will become stiff and unworkable with a gritty texture.

6. Next pour the chocolate into the silicone mould. The chocolate is thicker and more viscous than the silicone and will be harder to get into all the corners of the mould.  Pouring from a height again will help it fill evenly as will tapping and flexing the mould to dislodge air bubbles.

7. Now leave the chocolates to set, ideally in a fridge for a couple of hours to avoid breaking them when demoulding.

8. Et voila, a simple process for making custom chocolates. If you don’t have access to a 3D printer or a CNC milling machine you could always make the master from bees wax, wood, modelling clay etc.