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Has anybody used the Chocolate Artist software and printer by Deco?  I have some custom applications for which this would be perfect, but I would love to know your opinions on it.  Any help is much appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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I get blank sheets from Tomric. Check their catalogue for pricing.

For custom pre-printing, try Sweet Swiss Confections in Spokane, WA.
I use this technology all the time. Almost daily.  the sheets can vary.  Sometimes the Deco artist work best for a project, other times Cake Art Intl work better.  It always varies and you have to adjust your printer settings to control the flow of ink.  It can be tricky. I use to airbrush white but have long stopped that process.  When working with magnetic molds you have a very flat surface. If your house was flat and had no beam, it would cave in. These magnetic molds work on the same principles.  Therefore, to protect the strength of the chocolate I mix 100 grams white chocolate with 30 grams cocoa butter and add some white PCB powder colour.  It all goes int the Thermomix until heated to the  proper  tempperature. Anyhow, I put a thin layer in, instead of airbrushing.
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 Hi Deborah could you tell me what the white pcb powder colour is and where i can get it from, im from the uk so it might be called something different over here. Many thanks

I've attached 2 photos of chocolate business cards made at the same time.  I used Chocolate World molds that have the metal backing.  The metal gets much too cold and I have to heat the metal up so that the white chocolate will adhere to the image and not chill too quickly.  I prefer the molds that www.dr.ca sells.  They carry magnetic molds with the polycarbonate backing which I like much better because they don't get so cold.  One card is using the Deco Artist via Tomric chocosheets. The other is Cake Art Intl via Home Chocolate Factory.  The Cake Art sheets are thicker and have different ingredients than the Deco Artist.  The Deco Artist sheets are very thin.  I find that when using Deco Artist sheets for larger prints thus any transfer that has a larger surface area, these sheets show their imperfections.  When using the small 12 - 15 gram molds, these sheets are okay because it is harder to see the imperfections.  So, on large images such as the business cards molds or the large ovals made by chocolate world, then it is better to use Cake Art Intl. The Deco Artist sheets do make a beautiful transfer image. I have made some amazing customized pictures with them.  But use them only for smaller transfers.  You must make sure that the metal backing molds on your 2 piece molds are warmed to within a few degrees of your chocolate temperature...so with white 29 Celcius. 

I order from Home Chocolate Factory for the Cake Art Intl chocosheets.  There is an American supplier and when I did my research the price was cheaper to order from England.  The American reseller did say that she prefers to sell the larger sized sheet than the smaller because it works (transfers) much better even though they say that the sheets are exactly the same except for size.  After having used both sizes of sheets, I agree with her, the larger size sheet works much better.  I trim the sheet and save the scraps for when I have to make some individual transfer images.

Please note that the Deco Artist card has the crackling effect (BLEMISHES) that i have been referring to.  Hopefully this helps with.

INK:  Icing Images is one of the places that I purchase the ink from.  Photofrost was another.  I have had trouble with Photofrost and have not purchased from them for quite some time and they have not given me the routine phone call asking if I need to place an order which tells me they know good and well they were in the wrong.  I told them that the ink cartidge was not working/being accepted by my printer and they said "We will send you another one today"  This has happened twice in a short period of time and they never, AND I MEAN NEVER sent any replacement to me.  And of course that is why I don't receive any sales calls from them anymore!!  Icing Images and Photofrost and Kopykake to name a few sell many many different varieties of edible ink cartridges to fit a variety of printers.  If you are looking to a printer you could even call Icing Images and they would be very helpful on what they think a good printer would be. They do sell chocosheets but the sheets are very poor quality.

 

One last note:  The business card image was scanned from an actual business card.  Had I received an original jpeg or png image it would be even nicer..much better clarity...sharper image on the chocolate.

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WOW!! whEN i WAS IN chOCOLATE WORLD i NEARLY BOUGHT THE WHOLE SET. I was not sure so I left it. Now I think I am interested again. I need to go and read everything here and my notes from Belgium again. I do have some questions, but it is 1 am here and I am too tired to think. WIll be back 2moro,thank you all for all the great info.

 

Thanks, Debra. I'll try your technique of applying a thin layer of white chocolate with cocoa butter &colour. I appreciate your help and insight! The troubleshooting seems to take a long time to get to a quality result. : ))
Hi Debra, have you noticed that this blemishing takes place in winter? I've had no problems up until now. The cracking is very hard to avoid as you can not keep thr metal sheets on the right teperature, they cool down very fast. How do you do this?
Cheers Jan

I just purchased the Deco Chocolate Artist software direct from Chocolate World and the Canon ip3600 from Amazon. The software came with no instructions as to how to download it on to the computer and connect it up to the free software off the internet from Deco, just a flash stick and that is all. In fact, all that is on the flash stick is a pin number that allows you to access the software you have already downloaded. When you plug it into the computer, nothing shows up on your screen, at least not on my Mac. It is very confusing and had to go to my computer tech to set it up. I have yet to start printing transfers and from what I can tell, I will have to have to work it out myself by trial and error. I do not mind if the end product is what I am after.

The blank transfer sheets I bought from Chocolate World were made by Callebaut and are lightly coated with cacao butter. I also purchased the cacao butter filled ink cartridges from Chocolate World. Has anyone used either of these two products? 

The info in this discussion is very useful and greatly appreciated. I plan to test drive my Deco system this week, will share my results..... 

I think it runs only on PC's, not the Macs.  Anyone can download the software directly from the website, but they will not be able to print without the flash stick. 

Does the packaging on the transfer sheets say they are a Callebaut product?  That comes as a surprise to me if Callebaut is making transfer sheets. I would guess the sheets were Deco Artist and/or Cake Art Intl. The ink is not cocoa butter, but special edible ink for printing on chocosheets and icing sheets for cakes.

All the above posts refer to this printing system.

The deco-artist software is very easy to use and I use this technology almost daily for my chocolate business.

Your first step is to use a PC for the software. Then is should be quite easy from there!

I have a question about the finish, I airbrushed the logo on the transfer sheet with white cocoa butter, but when I unmold the chocolates I am left with a great looking logo, but I cannot get a clean edge to the chocolate, not all of the white comes off the sheet, just at the edges.  Does anyone have any advise on how to unmold so all the white cocoa butter stays on the chocolate.

As a foot note after reading people posts, I decided against buying the software & with a lot of measuring & little trial & error I formed my own template which works great

I have a new Mac with PC capabilities, so I was able to download the software off the net and the flash pin from Chocolate World. But as I said, it was not a simple process, don't know if it was the PC software to Mac or what. I hope using the system is easier. As for the Transfer sheets, they do say Callebaut, but reading further down the label they say, "made for Barry-Callebaut by Chocolate World, Belgium". This is from Ran Dergent from Chocolate World, 
Transfer sheets are completely coated with a mixture of sugar, starch and cacao butter to absorb the edible ink 
and for transferring on chocolate, you cannot print on acetate sheets ! It will leak and not transfer. 
Also from Ran Dergent, ink cartridges from Deco/Chocolate World are filled with colored cacao butter. I will check further with Ran. 
*A note on having to print on white back ground, you should be able to print on milk or dark chocolate if white has been added to the inks/colors. It serves the same purpose as a white background. The white has to be from an opaque mineral source. Remember that when using natural colorings, you are using plant and mineral products, same as painting. Only some are edible, others are toxic.... There are also many un-natural edible inks/dyes on the market, suppliers don't tell you this, you have to ask. Europe has very stringent laws on toxicity levels of colorants, the US does not. Off on an other subject, but related.

I don't see how the ink cartridges can be filled with cocoa butter.  Cocoa butter is solid and needs to warmed to work with.  I don't know of a heated printer.  All the edible ink cartridges I've used are filled with the same ink used for cake decorating.  As long as the sheets are treated to absorb, it works.

 

As far as the edges coming out ragged, I've had some issue with that.  Haven't found a solid solution for it.  It only happens randomly to me, but I think the cocoa butter just wasn't the best temperature when applied.  Or the molds need to set longer before unmolding.  

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