3D printing helps carve out Christmas treat
Support from WMG helped Coventry based Arden’s create a unique biscuit concept through the of the use of 3D design, printing and manufacturing technology
- Mug Huggers required flexible development process to help tool and produce unique cutting shapes to create biscuits that hug on to the side of mugs
- 3D technology allowed for cost effective and development process
Arden Fine Foods, a Tile Hill based firm specialising in sweet and savoury bakery products, were keen on producing the creatively shaped biscuit, but to achieve this vision they needed to engineer a unique shape to cut the biscuit dough.
The challenge required employing a flexible process that could easily be altered when minor shape changes were needed – allowing for design freedom and efficient tool manufacture.
WMG researchers used 3D printing, design and additive layer manufacturing capabilities, to help explore new designs and create dough cutters that were used to trial a number of different biscuit shapes, allowing the company to achieve the perfect shape before investing in a drum to fit onto the dough-depositing machine.
“Our design for manufacture assistance helped Arden’s arrive at final design for the product, which then enabled us to help them save significant tooling costs by engineering a 3D printed version of a cookie cutter resulting in the company being able to create a customisable, new product in mass volumes.”, says WMG Innovation Manager Dr Kylash Makenji.
The flexible solution meant the cutters could be adapted to reflect the changes required after evaluation, and new cutters printed at a quicker rate for trials, reducing risk during the innovation process with Arden Fine Foods not needing to commit upfront, expensive tooling during the initial stages of product trial - saving considerable costs and time.
“We are extremely grateful to WMG for making the development of this product so much easier by enabling us to make and use the 3D printed cutters in our trials, which helped us avoid expensive tooling costs, before deciding whether or not the product idea would work”, said Arden Find Foods Technical Director, Sarah Marsden.
“The sales opportunities are very exciting and we are planning to grow the Mug Huggers family in the future.”