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Coffee house debuts 3D printer, brings art to lattes

April 20, 2019

Photo by AP Imagery

The Creme Coffee House has been built around innovation and creativity in the local coffee house market, and the company’s latest creative development is following suit. Starting Tuesday, the Creme will now offer 3D printing services for 20-ounce drinks, where a customer’s photo can be taken at the store and then subsequently printed onto the foam surface of any latte or cappuccino using edible ink.

The idea to purchase the Vevor 3D Latte Coffee Printer came from the Creme’s owner, Adam Patterson, who was introduced to the idea while traveling in Israel.

“Adam saw it in Israel, and he loved the idea, so he ordered one for here,” said the Creme’s general manager Ashley Vanover. “When you come in, we can take your photo right there using a webcam, and then your photo prints on top of your drink.”

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The Creme is one of the only coffee shops across the state of Kentucky that offers 3D printing for lattes. The idea of offering such a unique service was what drove Patterson to purchase the $750 machine.

Vanover said the Creme’s second manager, Kandace Cox, was the one who put the machine together and figured out all the troubleshooting steps along the way. Although the process in figuring out how the new machine operated was complicated — in part, because the machine’s directions were not printed in English –Cox said she’s happy with how it all turned out.

“It was quite a process to get it running, I’m not going to lie,” Cox said. “I had to troubleshoot some of the programming, and get some people to help me with it.”

After the machine was in working order, however, Vanover and Cox said the 3D printing process has turned out to be fairly simple. Cox takes a customer’s photo and opens a folder on the Creme’s computer system where the picture has been stored. After dragging the photo to the 3D printing program on the computer, Cox places the coffee in the 3D printing machine, and, with the click of a button, the photo is transferred onto a layer of foam that sits on top of the coffee.

Eventually, Vanover believes the Creme will be able to pull photos from the internet and social media to be printed onto lattes — for now, though, photos must be taken at the Creme.

For the time being, the Creme will be offering 3D printing for 20-ounce hot lattes and cappuccinos on Mondays. Once the staff has become acclimated to operating the machine, Vanover said the Creme will offer 3D printing on a more regular basis.

April 20, 2019

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