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Autodesk has revealed how German chocolate company Ritter Sport has utilised digital prototyping to more quickly change the design of its chocolate offerings.

Autodesk Inventor software helps the company creates new designs 20 per cent faster than previously to more quickly respond to market trends.

Werner Glasser, plant engineering designer at Ritter Sport, said: ‘Because it is so much faster to make changes with Inventor, we have more time to play around with new design ideas.

‘By turning around new ideas faster, we are always ready for market shifts,’ he added.

More than 30 varieties and many different chocolate bar sizes are available, from the 250g super format to the 8g cube.

Ritter Sport adopted Autodesk Inventor software to achieve realistic 3D visualisation of the chocolate bars, as well as accelerate revisions during the design process.

Beginning with the shell of the chocolate bar, designers go straight to Inventor to build 3D digital prototypes.

The radius of the chocolate shells must be small enough to retain the desired shape, yet large enough to keep air pockets from forming in the corners of the mould.

The mould must also make it possible for the bars to be removed easily after they have cooled.

Most Ritter Sport bars have fillings, such as nougat or marzipan, inside the chocolate shell, as well as nuts.

That space must be included in the digital model.

As a final area of visualisation and simulation, designers must understand how the Ritter Sport logo will scale on each bar when the size of the bar changes.

Robert Kross, senior vice-president – Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk, said: ‘Every successful manufacturer relies on the ingenuity of its research, development and engineering teams to create the next product with speed and cost-effectiveness.

‘Digital prototyping helps Ritter Sport designers spend more time iterating to find the best designs and, ultimately, have the confidence that they are creating the best chocolate.’

Autodesk products are used by 9 million professionals in 185 countries to save time and money, gain competitive advantage, and change the way ideas are brought to life.

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