When she was 15, Dinara Kasko wanted to be an architect. She graduated from the University of Architecture and Design in Kiev, Ukraine. After graduation, she worked as an architect, interior designer, and 3D visualizer for a few years. The first time she saw a mousse clay cake she was fascinated. "It was so shiny, so bright, so unusual!" So much, that it changed her life and career forever.
Architectural design, 3D printing, and cherries on top
While transitioning from design architect to architectural cake designer, Dinara Kasko took her previous experience as architect and designer, mixed it with the emerging use of 3D printing technology in the gastronomical world, added some mathematical algorithms here and there, a pinch of geometry, and topped it up with her passion for patisserie and beautiful aesthetics.
Dinara believes appearance is as important as taste. This combination allows her to create perfectly beautiful geometrical and abstract edible designs. Her choice of ingredients makes her elegant cakes and desserts a healthy alternative to the more traditional options.
3D printing technology for architectural cake design
She designs her own molds using Grasshopper -a graphical algorithm editor software- before 3D printing them using Ultimaker 3D-printer. Using these silicone molds, Dinara creates fancy desserts of geometric and abstract design resulting from mathematical algorithms and the latest 3D printing technology.
Dinara's favorite geometric designs are those such as cubes, triangles, and spheres in bright red, pure white, and velvet black. Eventually, she has used pastel colors such as a beautiful blush pink chocolate for a special commission. She also emphasizes sharp straight lines creating modern minimalistic desserts that look like masterpieces taken out from a contemporary art gallery.
The mathematics, geometry, and technology behind the cake
3D printing is a technology used to create three dimensional objects through rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing. To create her designs, Dinara Kasko uses geometric constructing principles such as triangulation, the Voronoi diagram, and Biomimicry.
Biomimicry was popularized by scientist and author Janine Benyus in her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature back in 1997. In her book, Biomimicry is defined as a "new science that studies nature's models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems".
In this case, Dinara Kasko uses Biomimicry to express the beauty she finds in nature by recreating fragmentation of expanding shells in spiral, herb structure, or bubbles designs. Then, she uses 3Ds Max to create the master model, and a 3D printer to print it. Finally, she casts her silicone molds that people can buy from her website to create their own masterpieces. Every mold comes with a recipe included.
Algorithmic modeling, geometrical cake, and Ruby chocolate
Some of Dinara Kasko's projects are custom designs for a client's special occasion. Such was the case of the unique Ruby chocolate cake.
For this commission, Dinara created a recipe where the main flavor element was Ruby chocolate, a new type of chocolate introduced in 2017 by Belgian-Swiss cocoa company Barry Callebaut. This type of chocolate was first made available to the public by Fortnum & Mason's in London and then by Kit-Kat in Japan and South Korea.
Ruby chocolate is made from unfermented ruby cocoa beans or ruby beans. The flavor, sweet yet sour, and pink color are natural with a light and creamy texture. Dinara's exclusive creation certainly looks beautiful inside and outside.
The Ruby chocolate cake is made up of 81 individual little geometrical cakes. When put together they form a single composition. Every single individual piece is unique in shape. A true masterpiece of minimalistic design.
For creating this, Dinara used Grasshopper.This software can build form generators from something simple to something awe-inspiring.
For this work, Dinara collaborated with Mathew Shlian. They took a pyramid and changed the tilt of each object and the area of each top plane to program and script the set of cakes. This resulted in 81 pieces which are all completely different.
3D printing technology and the food of the future
3D printing for food manufacturing is rapidly evolving. What seemed to be almost impossible to accomplish in the culinary industry a few years ago is now possible thanks to the advances of 3D printing technologies and the incorporation of raw food in a number of edible creations used by gourmet chefs today.
The market counts today with some 3D printers specifically designed for food, such as Foodini. These especially purposed 3D printers bring a future of commercially available 3D printed food even closer. However, Dinara's cakes are not 3D printed. Only her molds are.
Her cakes are the result of a combination of old school bakery with mathematics, geometry, and 3D technology with most ingredients coming from fruits and natural flavors. Her choice of ingredients make these cakes and desserts a healthy treat that pleases the senses as well as maintaining one's health in check.
The research behind 3D printing and digital gastronomy
Different from robotics-based food manufacturing, three-dimensional food printing integrates 3D printing and digital gastronomy. In the last few years, this has revolutionized food manufacturing with customized shape, color, flavor, texture, and even nutrition.
Some food products can now be designed and manufactured in order to meet individual needs through controlling the amount of printing material involved and nutrition content.
One of the most common materials, other than chocolate, involved in food 3D printing is mash potatoes. This is used by gourmet chefs mostly to create a visually attractive touch to their creations which, as Dinara's, are usually based in Biomimicry, or innovation inspired by nature.
According to the researcher paper An Overview of 3D printing Technologies for Food Fabrication, 3D food printing provides an engineering solution for customized food design and personalized nutrition control. It is used as a prototyping tool to facilitate new food product development, and a potential machine to reconfigure a customized food supply chain.
How to become an architectural cake designer
Through masterclasses, Dinara Kasko also wants to show that with the help of design software, 3D printing technology, and good imagination anyone can learn to become an architectural cake designer.