3D printing technology has already been used to create elegant, edible 3D printed sweets made out of sugar. But now designer Philippe Malouin is using a 3D printer to create a variety of sugar-based plates and bowls in a project called Dunes. While the idea of edible sugar dishware that simply melts away in the sink is pretty sweet, Malouin was actually commissioned by the Staffordshire ceramics company 1882 Ltd to create a model of mass-produced fine bone china that retains the same sandy texture.

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If it isn’t amazing enough that he creates dish molds out of sugar, Malouin also built his very own 3D printer. It’s a custom-made machine with a box frame, wooden turntable, and small motor that is controlled by a custom computer program. When the machine starts fabricating a plate, it pours grains of sugar through a funnel into a spinning cylinder that forms the mold.

The resulting shape is then used to create a plaster cast that 1882 uses to begin producing bone china pieces. The actual plates you buy are a bit more unique because they still have the rough, sandy texture of the original sugar dishware. 3D printing the original dish slug could present designers with a new way to create even more outlandish dinner plates – perhaps ones etched with microscopic designs that were previously impossible with handmade or machine produced ceramics.

via Dezeen

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