Cutting chocolate


#1

This should be relatively easy, but for whatever reason, this is not working at all.
No issue engraving on the chocolate, but cutting it seems to be nearly impossible.

Here’s what I’ve done.

  1. Got a regular Hershey’s chocolate bar
  2. Froze a couple of segments
  3. Created just a small circle around the size of a dime
  4. Tried both room temp and frozen chocolate (with the Hershey printing face down)
  5. Set the thickness of the material to .125 inches also tried increasing the depth up to .3
  6. Set power from 70% to full power

No matter the depth, it refuses to cut through the chocolate.

What am I doing wrong here?


#2

I’m afraid Support won’t be able to help you on this one. It’s really beyond the scope of what they can reasonably be expected to support. I’ve moved this conversation to Beyond The Manual so you can get the best answers possible. I hope that’s okay with you.

I very much look forward to your desired result!!! I’d love to do the same thing sometime!


#3

As @Tom_A says, even though Glowforge showed cutting chocolate as a possible use for the machine they do not provide PROOFGRADE chocolate for that, and thus it is extremely unlikely they will respond.

IIRC they are talking with a manufacturer to supply PG Chocolate but until then your best bet is to get community input in Beyond the Manual (which is for non-proofgrade items)


#4

How thick is a chocolate bar? I think you’re going the wrong way with the focus depth. You’ll want to shrink it rather than increase it to move the focus into the chocolate. At 0.3 you’re defocusing the beam.


#5

The chocolate bar is .125"


#6

I’d try 0.06, for example


#9

The chocolate example in the promo was a fake.


#10

Given the low melting point of chocolate, I think that the chocolate melted by the laser may just flow into the cut, hence not getting a clean cut edge.

Unfortunately I can’t test as I do not yet have my GF :frowning_face:

Maybe use the GF to cut a chocolate mould out of acrylic?:smiley: :thumbsup:


#11

I tried a couple of settings tonight. Cut a normal Hershey bar, fresh from the fridge, at 100/50 at .325" which included a sheet of cardboard under the chocolate.

I bet if I played around more I could dial it in better, but I ate the other half of the bar. A speed of 250 wouldn’t cut through at 75 power. I’m betting I could find a cleaner cut at somewhere between 150 and 200 though maybe around 75 power.

Anyway, it’s definitely doable. Just going to take some experimentation. Let us know what you come up with!


#12

Hmm… let me try again tonight. Did you cut a shape or just a line across? Fwiw, I was trying to cut a circle out of the center of one of the segments, so let me try what you did and then maybe I can get the definitive settings for cutting a Hershey’s bar :wink:


#13

Okay I tried with the settings you had, replicating it with a piece of cardboard under the chocolate bar. No such luck, so I wonder if I’m missing something else in this whole experiment.

  1. Hershey’s bar fresh from the freezer - plain side up
  2. Set to .325", .25", .125", .06"
  3. Set power to 100 speed /50 power, 150/60, 150/75
  4. Tried cutting an arc across the bar, a straight line and a circle 1.5cm
  5. Tried a single cut and multiple cuts (generally this just lights the chocolate on fire and melts it to beyond recognition)
  6. Whole contraption sitting on top of a piece of cardboard, with a clean sheet of paper on top of that. Estimated depth of the whole rig - .325"

The arc came the closest to going all the way through at 100/50 when it was at the edge of the bar, but still didn’t exit the underside of the chocolate. The straight line really only got to a depth of about a couple of mm from the top and didn’t seem to penetrate much further than that.

Wondering if maybe there is some other fundamental setting that I’m missing and/or maybe it’s because I’m using a “pro” that I need to dial down something else? Or maybe there’s something else wrong with my unit that maybe I haven’t yet discovered since I’ve only done a couple of wood projects and mostly paper cut designs with it so far.


#14

Maybe if it was refrigerated instead of frozen?


#15

I cut a small circle. Small because I wanted to have enough room to do multiple tests, and circle because… well… I already have a circle svg saved in the GFUI. :slight_smile:

On top of the chocolate? Hmmm… I’d say get rid of that. At least for your initial tests. Too many variables.

Jules may have it here. Mine was in the fridge for several days. Never in the freezer. Within minutes of removing from the fridge is when I performed the tests. I didn’t make it completely through until my 2nd round of testing. So, let’s say it was out of the fridge for maybe 5 minutes, but definitely less than 10 minutes.


#16

The sheet of paper was on top of the cardboard :wink:

Okay… so after I steal my daughter’s Halloween candy, I’ll put some in the fridge and try again.


#17

Keep in mind, it’s extremely likely that every chocolate will be different. Like your OP, I used a basic Hershey bar. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, and I’d like to experiment with this more at some point… melting down a bar, re-forming it, then engraving it. With my faster speed cuts I was able to get some nice sharp lines into the chocolate, leading me to believe one could, at least, score some designs onto it. Don’t know about an actual engrave… I suspect it’d be too melty.


#18

I actually had no issue engraving on the Hershey’s bar. I created some .jpegs of different words like “Mine” “Not Mine” “Not Yours” in an italics font and really didn’t have to dial anything in to just print these right onto the back of the bar.

Playing with the settings a little didn’t really make that much of a difference, though I did keep the speed up towards the higher end of the spectrum as I didn’t want the laser to linger too much in any spot.

More complex designs I think will be a bit more difficult since I think you’ll want to have some rest time if you’re in close proximity.

Part of the reason that I’ve been experimenting on this cheap chocolate bar is that my wife does a bunch of cake designs and wants me to justify my purchase :slight_smile: by being able to create engraved chocolate for accent pieces on her cakes whether it’s in some chocolate or fondant or whatever else she might want to have. In this I thought that creating the shapes directly might be interesting rather than creating molds.


#19

Until we get that Proofgrade Chocolate everybody’s been asking for!


#20

Any chance we could see pictures of the results before they get eaten?


#21

Ok so you don’t need to have proof grade chocolate you just need to remelt and temper and pour onto a parchment paper covered sheet pan to cool. For a certain thickness use strips of material that thickness on either side and a dough cutter or straight edge to even out chocolate and pull till smooth. (starting small is easier)
you can find info on melting and tempering chocolate online.

@evanmf if you made rubber molds you would be able to have a consistent product she could keep reusing. PRICELESS


#22

If it is chocolate and not “chocolate” melting and cooling it will result in a whitish, crumbly bar. Once melted chocolate needs to be tempered before cooling. Your plan will work for something like Merckens.