LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — While it’s not exactly the food replicator from “Star Trek”, it’s pretty close. Hershey’s has partnered with a major 3-D printing company to develop a printer that makes food, including what else, but chocolate.

3D Systems announced Thursday that the manufacturing company would explore opportunities for using 3-D printing — a relatively untapped technology.

3-D printing allows users to print products, such as plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles, instead of words on paper.

The process usually involves adding raw material — like chocolate in this instance — instead of ink to the printer and designing the new product into a tangible item.

3D Systems says this method can help to reduce the time and cost of developing products.

Apparently grocery store aisles filled with candy and rows of vending machines packed with sweets just aren’t enough to satisfy the fix for some chocolate lovers.

Neither company has released information on when the device might be available or its cost.

“Whether it’s creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3-D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future,” William Papa, Hershey’s vice president and chief research and development officer, said in a statement.


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