What do 3D printing, cake, and a childhood nickname have in common?

The making of a 3D fudge replica of Tikal

by Jaime Pursuit
April 4, 2013
In my humble opinion monikers are confusing to even the brightest of 3 year olds. So when I “somehow” acquired the nickname of Jaime Cakes - and believed Cakes to be my surname- my parents should have stepped in and clarified things. They did not, and as a result the nickname has persisted. So it is to my pleasant surprise that “cake” has somehow come full circle in my life, symbolizing an intersection of my nickname, career and the industrial developments of the modern world.

At CyArk, a nonprofit with the mission of “using new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage sites”, the increasing adoption of all things 3D is particularly exciting. Our archive currently boasts accurate 3D records of many of the most iconic sites from around the world; Rapa Nui, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mount Rushmore, Tikal and nearly 100 more. So with an archive this rich, and ambitious plans to increase its size fivefold in five years time, it is no wonder that 3D printing is an enchanting field.

As The Economist has reported, 3D printing could very well be a "third industrial revolution." With the price and accessibility of 3D printers plummeting, there is no doubt that this technology will pave the way of the future and bring about advancements in science, technology, medicine, manufacturing and beyond. In the past year alone 3D printing has unveiled furniture, a guitar, a tractor, even an ear… not to mention an 10" x 5" cement replica of Mount Rushmore printed to scale within millimeters of accuracy.

But what really takes the cake, is the recent use of CyArk’s 3D Tikal data set by UK bakery Cake for Breakfast. This savvy shop actually created a dimensionally accurate fudge cake of the ancient Mayan pyramid! In an event sponsored by Tate and Lyle launching a series of new sugars, an 80+ cm fudge temple was on show in the dark basement, accompanied by a rainforest by night soundtrack and a brewing storm…

To CyArk this is certainly the equivalent of having one’s cake and eating it too.
Tikal Fudge Cake created from CyArk's data shown on display in a dark rainforest room at Tate & Lyle Sugars Tasting House
Tikal Fudge Cake made with golden caster sugar, over 80cm tall
Jaime Cakes