Introduction: Moon Shaped Chocolate With Hazelnuts, Based on Real 3D Data of the Moon Surface

About: I love designing cool gadgets... I'm also Founder at Lumi Industries where we design awesome 3D Printers and Holographic displays!

Some time ago I had an idea: I wanted to create a dessert, or a chocolate, shaped like the Moon surface. I figured out that in order to get a realistic shape, I could benefit from actual 3D files that are now being made available to the public by NASA from actual measurements they did with satellites.

So my focus now was to find the best way to create a dessert / chocolate based on 3D data, and this guide shows the method i developed and my results.

Have fun, and remember to always use food safe materials!


  1. 10mm Acrylic sheet, enough to make at least 3-4x 100mm discs
  2. Clear PETG film, 100um or more
  3. Chocolate
  4. Hazelnuts
  5. Food safe PLA filament (if you follow solution 2)
  6. Food safe two components silicone (if you follow solution 2)

Tools: CNC machine/ 3D Printer, Thermoforming machine, infrared thermometer.

Step 1: Instructions

I provide two different solution to create a dessert (chocolate, but a cheescake or other desserts can be created with this methods) from a 3D file.

Solution 1 is the one I used and will be explained in detail in the next steps.

Step 2: Get the 3D Moon Surface Files

I have selected two different ways to generate the Moon 3D model for the chocolate.

Solution 1

On you can directly download an STL file, that printed at its default size (8cm across) covers an area approximately 400km on a side at a scale of 5 million to one ( 1 cm = 50
km ). You have to download the Moon_Far_side STL.

Solution 2

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been circling around the moon for almost a decade now. During this course, it has collected a ton of photographs and data on the moon‘s surface. That data is now available for visual artists in the form of a 3D map with depth information.

The files (TIF) can be downloaded from:

First, you download the image (visible or disaplcement) in you r desired resolution.

Now, you can select a part of the image, and use or similar services to generate the 3d model.

Step 3: Prepare the 3D File

I wanted to create a chocolate with diameter of 100mm and height of 30mm.

So I created a cylinder in 3D Cad program with this size. Exported it.

With MeshMixer ( , free download), resize the Moon surface file, import the cylinder from the CAD, and use booleans to cut the Moon surface file.

You should end up with the STL file ready to be 3D Printed/ CNC milled.

You can easily download the ready made STL file that I provide here, I did already the work for you!

Step 4: CNC Machining the 3D Part

The video shows the early tests I did with MDF material. Final part was made with Acrylic.

Using ArtCam (free demo available) I imported the 3D model of the Moon.

Toolpaths are then generated and used for CNC machining of the acrylic disc.

I also cut two discs with the same diameter (100mm) and glued them together.

Step 5: Thermoforming the Mold

I used this thermoforming machine: but any thermoforming machine will work.

For info about the thermoforming process, they also published this very easy to follow video:

Step 6: Final Steps

When you have the mold ready, it is time to pour the melted chocolate. If you want to to things properly, you chould temper the chocolate, and use a good quality one. There are many guides online on how to temper chocolate, easy to find with a quick Google search. Remember that an infrared themormeter will be very handy for this, and some patience is required too! But it will taste better, cool down faster, and be easier to remove, so it is worth a try. I was able to temper the chocolate on my first try, so it is not that difficult!

I actually poured some chocolate first, then after it was solid added some hazelnuts, and some more chocolate.

Have fun! And remember, always use food safe materials.

Dessert Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Dessert Speed Challenge