We've seen a cornucopia of 3D food printers specialized for consumer and prosumer chefs, from the multipurpose Foodini to 3D Systems' ChefBot. Now a major corporation has expressed interest in the sprouting 3D-printed food industry – chocolate-maker Hershey has announced a development partnership with 3D Systems.

The announcement mentioned plans to develop not only new candy confections with the technology, but also a new class of printers. The press release described Hershey as embracing new technologies to move its candies into the future, though also left the language vague enough to include foods that weren't candies.

3D Systems made headlines earlier this month when it announced a sugar printer which doesn't print in chocolate, though a representative of the company describes some of their recipes as tasting like a chocolate cookie and others as having more of a candy consistency.

Chocolate printing systems have unique complexities inherent with chocolate, such as keeping the chocolate flowing and tempering it properly for a nice finish and snap.

The partnership is part of 3D's described goal of mainstreaming 3D printing and expanding into edibles.

Source: 3D Systems