3D-printed chicken fillets slash training costs and time

Project Name | Cargill

Summary | The Ricoh 3D team got taste buds tingling when they helped a poultry leader with their product quality and training plans– producing 3D printed food! 

The problem | Cargill’s European poultry business is a leading supplier and innovator of chicken products for retail, major food service and food manufacturing.

With business growth– and employee numbers with it – Cargill needed to find a training method to show new recruits how to easily identify different grades of chicken fillets before they are shipped.

The solution | Rather than using real fillets as a training tool, which would be costly, wasteful and time consuming, Cargill turned to Ricoh to create a 3D printed alternative that could be used repeatedly.

How we did it | First, we took our 3D scanning machine to Cargill’s Wolverhampton base. Within minutes, every crumb and crevice in the selected chicken fillets had been captured as scanned data that could be used to print directly from.

The team then used this data to create 15 astonishingly realistic 3D prototypes using SLS printing.

The 3D printed food was finished with paint, down to the finest detail of the herbs within the breadcrumbs, to make realistic training aids.

Now Cargill’s trainees can accurately practise packing and grading fillets without handling any meat and without waste. Nothing to get in a flap about!

Cargill turned to Ricoh to create a sustainable 3D printed food alternative that could be used repeatedly to train and demonstrate desirable and reject product characteristics. The 3D models are also held as references for the QA teams, so it’s a vital part of our processes.