This Tiny Mold Lets You Cast BBS Wheels From Chocolate

Turns out you can have your wheels and eat them too.

byPeter Holderith|
Culture photo

Typically the closest intersection cars have with food is a drive-thru burger joint. Sometimes, however, and it's not very often, something a little more interesting than heartburn comes along when the two cross paths. Such a thing has just occurred recently in Japan. Have you ever wanted a chocolate BBS wheel, by any chance?

A Japanese design company called 4Design has produced such a mold in collaboration with Japanese industrial giant Fujita, but more importantly, wheelmaker BBS. The mold makes a tiny replica of a BBS wheel from a Formula 1 car. It's meant not only as a fun exercise in dessert making, but also a way to celebrate manufacturing.

The tiny mold, part of a larger project called "Hanagata," is as much a piece of art as the wheel it produces. It does away with the typical tubes and funnels to pour the melted material into. Instead, this mold stylizes these features into art themselves. The six-piece mold features a top, bottom, and four sides to create the wheel's final shape. 

The mold pieces were milled by a CNC machine and then shot-blasted to finish the surface. After that, they were anodized to provide a thin protective layer for the metal. The final result is a beautifully crafted mold that, rather unsurprisingly, has no listed price. It likely cost a tremendous sum to make on account of being very difficult to machine. The other item in the Hanagata project, a BBS-branded cushion cast in white chocolate, is aesthetically pleasing yet likely difficult to produce as well.

Even though we don't have a price for the wheel mold, we do know the wheel design came from BBS itself, and you'll need 40 grams of chocolate—about an ounce and a half—to fill it. Really, it would be much easier to 3D print such a mold using one of those fancy printers that use liquid resin and ultraviolet light to create solid parts. It would probably be cheaper, too. I'm not sure if the resin is food-safe, but hey, gotta find out somehow.

4Design is considering holding demonstrations of the mold(s) at the Factory Art Museum in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture. However, these experiences may be limited to members of the BBS Wheel Owner's Club, so if you don't own a set of BBS wheels but want a tiny chocolate set, you might have to shell out a few bucks before that happens.

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