On Tuesday, three-dimensional printing company 3D Systems (DDD 2.31%) announced that it has purchased a start-up micro-design firm by the name of The Sugar Lab for an undisclosed sum. The Sugar Lab's business model centers on designing "customized, multi-dimensional, edible confections in real sugar" -- to be printed on three-dimensional printing machines such as 3D manufactures.

Edible confections, made to order.
Source: The Sugar Lab

In fact, The Sugar Lab adopted 3D's own Color Jet Printing technology "to print on a sugar bed using different flavored edible binders that meet all food safety requirements."

At present, The Sugar Lab says commercial applications for "printable sugar" generally involve building "complex sculptural cakes for weddings and special events." But over time, 3D's new subsidiary says: "We see our technology quickly evolving into a variety of flavors and foods, powered by real food printers for professionals and consumers alike."

The 3D press release describes the beginnings of The Sugar Lab like this: "The Sugar Lab was founded by Kyle and Liz von Hasseln, a husband and wife architectural design team in Los Angeles. They wanted to make a friend a birthday cake but didn't have an oven so they decided to try to 3D print a cake instead. After a period of trial and error that lasted well beyond her actual birthday they successfully printed a tiny cupcake topper that spelled her name in cursive sugar. She loved it and they thought others would as well so they officially started The Sugar Lab in their studio in Silver Lake."