Chocolate Artist Software/Printer

David Peterson
@david-peterson
04/04/11 01:34:26PM
14 posts

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!


updated by @david-peterson: 04/10/15 01:59:58AM
Robyn Wood
@robyn-wood
04/04/11 04:48:57PM
29 posts

I have it and use if for logos and photos. I chose to get a printer on my own, and then ordered the software USB. I ordered the sheets and USB from Tomric.

I have a Canon MP620 and ordered edible ink cartridges from KopyKake and another place I can't remember the name of.

It works well, but the software could be better. Better editing and sizing options would be helpful. I have one scalloped round mold that the software doesn't have an option for. So, I choose the rectangle and it lines up almost perfect with it.

1507-chocolates50.jpg?width=350 This is a logo from the caterer I work for. I always airbrush over the image with white cocoa butter to keep the colors true and to have it show up on dark chocolate.

I hope down the line the have some updates to the software, but I like using it.

David Peterson
@david-peterson
04/04/11 07:13:27PM
14 posts

Thank you for the information. Have you figured out the additional cost per piece?

David

Robyn Wood
@robyn-wood
04/05/11 01:30:54AM
29 posts
No, not yet. I'm not doing a lot of chocolate right now, and haven't gotten around to it. Another thing on the list.
Jackie Jones
@jackie-jones
04/06/11 10:37:51AM
15 posts
I agree the software needs work. Tomric didn't tell me that the design has to be done on white - & I don't have airbrush equipment yet. On my list! So I can improve!!
Robyn Wood
@robyn-wood
04/06/11 11:48:20AM
29 posts

Yeah, unfortunately, printers don't print in white. I tried molding with white chocolate, and for some things it works without the white. I used a photo of my cat, and molded with a layer of white chocolate behind the photo. It worked better because she's Siamese and the more golden color looked more like her coloring. I did it with white cocoa butter and she was washed out. So, it just depends on the image.

And Jackie, you can just brush a thin layer of cocoa butter on the sheet with a brush or sponge as long as the printed image is dry. I did that for a more streaked appearance on a logo I did for Infiniti (don't have a photo unfortunately). It's not as solid as the photo above though.

Carlos Eichenberger
@carlos-eichenberger
05/30/11 08:00:49PM
158 posts

If you're familiar with design software like Photoshop or Illustrator (to name just 2) you can completely skip the clunky and expensive Deco software!

All you need are the transfers from Tomric plus the edible inks from kopykake. I use the Canon ip4700 and it works quite well. Of course you have the white issue, but that can be circumvented by using white chocolate for your prints or spraying a white background with either white cocoa butter or white edible ink. Just did some VW logos for our local club and they looked great.

Wendy Buckner
@wendy-buckner
05/31/11 12:49:35AM
35 posts
I tried this system for a while. We bought our own printer and ink from kopy kake. We made our own templates and ordered the sheets from Tomric. The molds are pretty expensive, so we only had a few to work with at a time. Our main issue was that the transfers didn't work very well. We spoke to Tomric repetitively about our issues, tried everything that they said we should try...and it never worked well at all. It was a lot of wasted time and money. Wasted transfer sheets that didn't transfer well. We tried everything. In fact...the first package of sheets we ordered worked much better than the second package...I don't know if they changed them...but it was horrible. I did not try what Robyn did and airbrush the sheets with white cocoa butter before using...that could have helped...maybe. But I was VERY unhappy with the system. It was a super cool idea...but we had to put SO much work into it to get each order completed. We decided to not offer it anymore. **We also had the printer get stopped up a couple of times if we didn't use it for a week or so. It was a pain! I wish I had better things to say about it...but I do not recommend it at all...unless Robyn has the secret trick of airbrushing the sheets. I was also unhappy to find that the sheets were not cocoa butter sheets to print on...they were sugar based. I don't have them near to give the ingredients...but true transfer sheets are made from cocoa butter...so I think that was why I had so many problems with them working as well. I love Tomric products...except for this one.
Jackie Jones
@jackie-jones
05/31/11 10:35:07AM
15 posts

Tomric should tell people that unless you apply a white background, the software & sheets don't work well.

I just orderedthe sheets preprinted with my customer's logo & they worked much better. Wasted much money.

Robyn Wood
@robyn-wood
06/01/11 04:18:31PM
29 posts

I've heard other issues with the sheets, which could have just been the batch. I still have the first original batch I ordered, so I don't know if another one would give me problems.

I don't have any secret trick, it's all been hit or miss when I first started using these. I just spray the cocoa butter the same for anything else I do.

I have used them without the cocoa butter and they worked, but I felt the image wasn't as bright as with the white. This shows without, but the logo is white, and this is way is too yellow from the white chocolate.

1503-aqwhite.jpg?width=250

But, this photo is of my cat, and the white chocolate works better than white cocoa butter because it's her blond color:

1505-gingchoc.jpg?width=250

Since Tomric only sells these and are not the maker, I don't know if any info from Deco in the UK or Chocolate World in Belgium would be better. They are the ones that developed it. I was going to order the sheets from them until I found that Tomric sold them.

I've never had any trouble with the printer clogging. www.tastyfotoart.com is the other place I ordered ink from. I liked them better because the came with the chips that the Canon printers have, and I didn't have to move chips between cartridges.

I can still have problems occasionally, but it's mostly been from the cocoa butter not being the right temp or something.

Debra Fleck
@debra-fleck
07/26/11 01:46:53AM
32 posts
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.
Debra Fleck
@debra-fleck
08/02/11 06:10:08PM
32 posts

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.

Ilana
@ilana
08/11/11 06:12:16PM
97 posts

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 Belgiumagain. 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.

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
08/14/11 11:20:08AM
26 posts

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.....

Debra Fleck
@debra-fleck
08/14/11 12:21:43PM
32 posts

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!

Helen Staines
@helen-staines
08/14/11 07:16:50PM
9 posts

I have a question about the finish, I airbrushed the logo on the transfer sheetwith 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

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
08/14/11 10:57:57PM
26 posts
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.
Robyn Wood
@robyn-wood
08/15/11 12:19:30PM
29 posts

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.

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
08/25/11 11:54:08AM
26 posts

Chocolate World finally got back to me, you are correct, cartridges are filled with ink and water.

So, has anyone filled their own cartridges or treated their own acetate sheets??

Jackie Jones
@jackie-jones
08/25/11 02:13:48PM
15 posts
I purchased the software and tried the transfer sheets. Today I am using the EPSON STYLUS C88 as a regular printer - if that tells you anything. No information comes with the software, ink is very expensive, and it totally did not work for me. Wasted money.
Debra Fleck
@debra-fleck
08/25/11 03:40:19PM
32 posts
I have refilled my own cartidges. I order bulk ink from Icing Images, although next week I will be purchasing locallybulk edible ink that is made by Photofrost. Kopykake also has bulk ink. The acetate needs the special spray so that the ink adheres to the sheet and not smudge. The cartidges are expensive but can be reused up to 3 times. I recently purchased some empty automatic chip resetting cartidges from China. I am going to try using the cartidges to see how good the quality is. But, by purchasing bulk edible ink and empty cartridges, it could be a large signicant saving. I do alot of printing on chocosheets.
updated by @debra-fleck: 09/07/15 01:15:21PM
Debra Fleck
@debra-fleck
08/25/11 03:42:49PM
32 posts
You need to have a printer that has not and is not being used with regular printing ink. I will try to put together a manual for people to use the software. It really is a good product and very valuable to my business.
Debra Fleck
@debra-fleck
08/25/11 04:40:20PM
32 posts

1492-choco1v2.jpg click the top image that says "NEW DESIGN"

1494-choco2V3.jpg

Click the proper mold template you need. You will need to wait anywhere from 3-10 seconds for the template to open up. Be patient.

1496-choco3v3.jpg?width=721

Click "PICTURES" on the left menu. On the Right side, the IMAGING MENU appears. Find your picture and click it. I usually save an image (jpeg,jpg, or png) to my desktop (i have also created a file called LOGO) because it is easy to find the image. Anyhow, click the picture you want.

1498-choco4v5.JPG

Set up the image to the size you want. There is an ability to crop the picture if you want. Once you have sized the image the way you want it thenClick on left side "PRINT IMAGE". Make sure that you have the security stick plugged into the USB. Print. OR "PREVIEW " if you want to see how the image will look before printing.

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
08/25/11 11:38:50PM
26 posts

Thanks Debra, I have the printer, I have the ink cartridges and I am ready to start experimenting with the Deco software. I will get back to Ran at Chocolate World and tell him the dilemma people are having with the flash stick. The PC/Mac transfer was very difficult, some instructions would have been nice.

Will post my results!!!

Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
08/27/11 12:55:07PM
19 posts
I have it and use it with an Epson printer (recommended by Tomric in NY). It works pretty well, but you cannot print white, which is a handicap, so you'd have to use white chocolate shells for the logo to show well. That's frustrating. I buy the cartridges from Kopykake.
Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
08/27/11 12:59:11PM
19 posts

I should add that the software is still beta, as I was told by Tomric and no permanent version available...there aren't instructions, so you have to figure it out for yourself. Ask if you have any questions and I'll try to help out.

I tried airbrushing white cocoa butter directly onto the transfer sheet, so that I could apply it to dark chocolate, but the results have been flakey. Haven't mastered that yet - any ideas or suggestions?

Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
08/27/11 04:23:35PM
19 posts
1490-IMG_1867.JPG?width=721 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. : ))
MARIANNE MCGOWAN
@marianne-mcgowan
08/27/11 05:44:53PM
2 posts

Can you please explain in more details how you get the white color so nice

Thanks

Marianne

Robyn Wood
@robyn-wood
08/28/11 12:49:26AM
29 posts

I don't do anything special or different than when using the white cocoa butter for anything else. I warm in in the microwave in bursts until it's fluid enough to use with the airbrush. Never checked the temp, but it should be around 90 degrees. I have heard from some that they get it hotter than that because the air brush will "temper" it as it goes through sprayer. Has never worked for me that way. If it's too hot, I usually loose a lot of pieces. After the printed sheet has dried, I just spray over it in a even layer, and let it set until dry. Then mold as usual. I have had some chipping on corners, but haven't figured out what causes it. It's really random, and it hasn't happened much.

I use the Badger 260 sprayer on my compressor just FYI.

Probably not a lot of help, but when I first started playing around with this whole thing, I just jumped in and figured it out as I went.

MARIANNE MCGOWAN
@marianne-mcgowan
08/28/11 01:24:59PM
2 posts

Hi Jackie,

Could you please tell me where you order the sheets preprinted, how long time does it take and

is there a min order

Thanks

Marianne

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
08/28/11 01:37:59PM
26 posts
Go to my Aug 13 post and see what Ran from Chocolate World said was on their transfer sheets. Powdered sugar is made of very fine milled sugar and corn starch, I assume that is what they used. Let us know if that works...
Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
08/28/11 02:24:03PM
19 posts
The application is windows-based, not for Macs. I had to buy a netbook just for the program. Wish it was for Mac, being a Mac user myself.
Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
08/28/11 02:31:29PM
19 posts
I get blank sheets from Tomric. Check their catalogue for pricing.For custom pre-printing, try Sweet Swiss Confections in Spokane, WA.
david roberts2
@david-roberts2
05/14/12 05:45:15PM
2 posts

Hi has anyone used candy melts for a clearer picture rather than use white chocolate, i use it quite often and itseems to decant from the deco molds easily, and gives me a brill pic.

david roberts2
@david-roberts2
05/15/12 03:55:56PM
2 posts

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

Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
05/15/12 04:07:51PM
19 posts

That's interesting, Dave, as I have been using it exclusively on white chocolate. Which candy melts are you using? I haven't tried them before.

Thank you!

Jan van Poortvliet
@jan-van-poortvliet
05/22/12 04:19:48PM
5 posts
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
david roberts
@david-roberts
06/02/12 01:51:30PM
11 posts

Hi Glenn i use super white candy melts from merckens, i tried the ones from wilton but did not find the picture was perfect plus did not taste as good. once i get my head around this site will upload some pics. This was one of my earlier efforts but as you can see the picture is so clear.

1488-1.jpg?width=721

Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
06/02/12 02:00:42PM
19 posts

That looks great! I'll have to try some of the melts. Right now I use white chocolate and blend a little bit of white cocoa butter to lighten the colour from yellowish that most white chocolate couverture is.

Debra Fleck
@debra-fleck
06/02/12 02:34:34PM
32 posts

If you are making a high end product, then the candy melts compromise the product. Compound chocolate is fine if the product is run of the mill quality. I blend white chocolate with cocoa butter and just plain everyday light oxidizes the white chocolate and the creamy yellow goes white. I use to add white coloured cocoa butter and realized it was a waste of time.

david roberts
@david-roberts
06/02/12 03:43:54PM
11 posts

To be honestDebra once i master the art of the airbrush etc then i will go down the road of white chocolate and cocoa butter, it seems to work for you, just trial and error i suppose i just find the melts at the mo straight forwards no tempering required. Only been going since January so still a novice. If you do use the melts Glenn dont slake them down with cocoa butter, theres no need,put the melts in mould in lieu of the white choc and let it set takes around 5-7 mins, then pour the flavoured chocolate in, pop in the fridge for around 40 mins, i then pop them for 5 mins in freezer, the reason i do this is the melts do not shrink as much as chocolate in the fridge. then demould as normal


updated by @david-roberts: 09/07/15 01:15:39PM
Glenn Knowles
@glenn-knowles
06/02/12 08:59:12PM
19 posts

Thanks for the hints. I've tried air brushing white over the transfer sheets without success, so have found the white chocolate option to be the most effective.

Best,

Glenn

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