In the spotlight: Dinara Kasko, pastry artist

We are always excited to see Ultimaker 3D printers in social media posts, blogs, and videos online. For some time, Dinara Kasko has been lighting up our feeds with her ‘geometric desserts’, where she creatively uses 3D printing as part of a process to produce molds for premium cakes. We couldn’t miss a chance to ask her some questions.

Dinara Kasko
Dinara Kasko

Can you describe yourself in a few words?

Hello! My name is Dinara Kasko and I am from Kharkov, Ukraine. Since my childhood, I have been interested in different kinds of art and have always liked painting and creating things with my hands. After graduating from university with a degree in architecture, I worked for some years as a 3D visualizer. About five years ago I got really interested in baking. At this time, working with pastry techniques was completely new to me.

What first attracted you to 3D printing?

I started using 3D printing about three years ago. My friend ran a local makerspace and had lots of interesting tools, including a 3D printer. Eventually, I decided to try creating my own pastry molds – this was a way of combining my interest in design and baking.

The stories I post on my Instagram with my Ultimaker prints always get the most views. 3D printing has a big ‘wow’ factor to it. I think that’s what people like about it. 3D printers mean a lot to me – this is how I became famous!

A lot of people think that I 3D print my molds, but this is not the case – I 3D print the master, and then use silicone to create the final mold used for the dessert.

What made you choose an Ultimaker 3D printer to print your molds?

I used to order 3D printed models from my friend at my local makerspace, but I soon found out this was quite an expensive way of working, so I decided to purchase my own 3D printer.

While doing some research, I read the following phrase on the internet: “Ultimaker is the iPhone of 3D printers”. To me, this meant I wouldn’t have to worry about the reliability; everything would work fine. I decided on an Ultimaker 3 Extended because it was the easiest one to use and gave the best results. I called the local service partner in Ukraine, and ordered it the same day. It arrived within two days! Now I can print whatever I want, as much as I need. I love how an Ultimaker looks: stylish design, illuminated, and a compact size.

The most important features to me are the quality of printing and its speed. I don’t print complicated small-scale objects, but I do print very big models. That’s why the size of the printing area is very important as well. Also, it is very important to get a smooth surface.

Of course, there are some alternative methods to use in pastry. It’s possible to create master models out of gelatin, gypsum, and some other materials. I have also done some work with CNC machines, but they are much more expensive and very complicated to use. Sometimes, they are not able to cut complicated shapes, but I find this can be easily done by 3D printers, so I find 3D printing achieves the best results.

I can print whatever I want, as much as I need. I love how an Ultimaker looks: stylish design, illuminated, and a compact size.

The Bubbles with exotic fruit
Watch the video

What about your design process? Can you tell us more about it?

When I create new molds, they don’t need any additional décor, as they are objects of design by themselves. I have always been a big fan of minimalism. I like creating graphical and geometrical objects with sharp, straight lines.

In general, the process from idea to dessert takes several months. This process is divided into stages, and some of those stages can work together simultaneously. First, I work on a recipe and experiment with it. At the same time, I work on 3D modeling and print out test molds. Then I take a look at my final result – cakes and tarts. I change something about it and print them out over and over again. It’s quite a rare thing to get the perfect 3D image or make the perfect cake with the first attempt. This is where 3D printing has been really helpful.

When designing a mold, I imagine what my dessert will look like at the very end. I then create a 3D model of the master mold on my computer. I like to study different software and choose my own way. I use different 3D programs, such as 3DS Max. I also work with another parametric designer who uses programs such as Rhino or Grasshopper.

I take the 3D model and prepare it for printing in Ultimaker Cura. I print with Ultimaker PLA material, and from time to time I use Ultimaker PVA support material. Using PVA has been very useful in some of my designs as it means I could create more complex molds that are nested in layers.

When the print is finished, I fill it with silicone to make a mold. When this has set I'm ready to start making the cake. I fill the silicone mold with all the ingredients used. It’s very important to get the mold and its filling frozen solid. Afterwards, I can take the silicone mold off and decorate the cake or tart with glaze or velour.

3D modeling the mold in 3DS Max
Final dessert
The finished dessert

How about the future? Do you have plans to expand your business further?

I am currently selling molds on my website, and 3D printing has been a really useful part of the process. The first batch of molds were handmade, but now I’m getting molds mass produced. This would not have been possible without Ultimaker and 3D printing. It has allowed me to test that each mold works well before investing in the mass production fees, so that no money is wasted.

I would also really like to open a studio for other pastry enthusiasts. I want to create interesting projects and attract talented people to work on them.

We look forward to seeing where Dinara’s pastries will take her! You can follow Dinara’s work on Instagram and on her website.

Learn more about how 3D printing with Ultimaker can aid your product development.

Product design with Ultimaker