3D printing: soon, a food printer in every kitchen

Summary:3D food printers may soon be as common fixtures as microwaves in peoples' kitchens.

Not too long ago, microwave ovens were expensive, start-of-the-art devices only seen in restaurants or industrial kitchens. So, it's not too far-fetched to imagine that 3D food printers may end up taking counter space alongside microwave ovens in millions of kitchens across the land.

Startup company Essential Dynamics will soon be marketing a 3D food printer that will retail for $1,000 initially. Fast Company's Lakshmi Sandhana spoke with Founder Jamil Yosefzai, who has a vision of a 3D printer in every kitchen. "As time passes, 3D food printing we will go from novelty…to utility…to indispensability," he is quoted as saying.

Work on 3D food printing has also been taking place at Cornell Creative Machines Lab and MIT. Here's how the CCML food printer works:

"The CCML food printers require edible inks and electronic blueprints called FabApps. This machine prints food using multiple cartridges, going line by line until the desired shape is extruded. 'The electronic blueprint specifies exactly which materials go where--it is essentially a blueprint of the food item,' says Hod Lipson, the head of the lab. It’s a way to create new flavors and forms of food by varying its chemical properties. 'It’s a huge 'design space,' and the combination of tastes and textures, geometries and colors that can be achieved is enormous,' says Lipson."

CCML supports an open-source effort underway called Fab@Home, which also promotes a vision of low-cost 3D printers in every home, producing all kinds of functional 3D objects -- from food to replacement parts for household devices. The CCML folks call it "personal fabrication."

(Photo Credit: Fab@Home.)

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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