South East Technological University’s (SETU) 3D printing program has leapt onto the restaurant scene through a collaboration with a local restaurant. The alliance between AMASE (Additive Manufacturing Advancing the South East) and 3DWIT has developed 3D-printed desserts for “The Old Couch Cafe” in Waterford City.
The fine-dining restaurant previously served a dessert of baked Alaska, pineapple and tarragon sorbet on a lollipop stick. Now it is presenting this on the special 3D-printed miniature seat custom-made by SETU students.
Chef Luis Martin, who has been running the cafe since April, says, “We had no idea that you could print something like this. Our customers love it. The finished piece is so detailed and looks incredible. It looks so much like an old couch that people have tried to brush the dust off it but it’s all part of the design. I believe there is huge potential for restaurants to work with places like SETU. We’re already looking at our next project. We want to offer something different to customers, for us it is all about the experience and having unique and well-designed tableware is part of that.”
SETU students involved in the development of the dessert plates have access to industrial metal and polymer 3D printers. These allow for the production of a wide variety of products, from design iterations to high-end prototypes.
Programme Coordinator David Alarco said, “This collaboration with The Old Couch Cafe is an example of the unexpected ways in which 3D printing has uses, and it goes to show what a versatile and innovative type of manufacturing it is. We were delighted to support a great local business with this initiative and the participants on the course had great fun using the technology at the facility in SETU to create a customised, multi-coloured, multi-material piece that works perfectly for the dessert presentation in the restaurant – the Baked Alaska lollipop stick fits exactly into the old couch creation.”
The part-time program in Additive Manufacturing at SETU will be offered in two 12-week semesters in blended mode beginning in September. It is part of the AMASE project and combines the expertise and equipment of SEAM and Design+ Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways, as well as 3DWIT, Ireland’s first center for 3D printing and training.