3D food printer - the "D" is for delicious
January 24th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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A 3D food printer sounds like something out of Star Trek, but it's not out of this world. It's up and running at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan - and in five years, it could be in your home.

As part of a project at Cornell University, a group of scientists and students built a 3D printer and began testing it out with food. The device attaches to a computer, which works as the "brain" behind the technology.

It doesn't look like a traditional printer; it's more like an industrial fabrication machine. Users load up the printer's syringes with raw food - anything with a liquid consistency, like soft chocolate, will work. The ingredient-filled syringes will then "print" icing on a cupcake. Or it'll print something more novel (i.e., terrifying) - like domes of turkey on a cutting board.

Read This 3D printer makes edible food and see it in action

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Filed under: Experimental • Technology • Weird News

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Then a couple hours later the print job becomes a core dump.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  2. auntiegrav

    Wow. Two things that add to the delusions of people in the same venue. I can't wait. Goo that you call "food" and the delusion that 3D printers are an important part of anything other than consumerism.
    Real food and real useful things can be made by hand. The rest is just marketing. If you can't make something useful by hand, this device simply allows you to make more complicated uselessness.
    Better set up a Masters Degree program for it quick, before everybody has one at the "Let Them Eat Cake With Their Pet's Genitals Picture" Trade Show.

    January 25, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  3. Nick

    This is the biggest waste of money i have ever seen. First this isnt some new technology. They have managed to take a CNC machine and have it dispense food instead of tool material. All this machine has the ability to do is to take away un educated workers. Then they will have the problem of finding someone who can actually run the machine. I say good luck to us because we all seem to be fascinated by this machine that can make cakes. This thing has every overweight american sitting at the edge of the couch salivating asking when they can get one in their house.

    January 25, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  4. Jae Kitchen

    The whole concept is amazing. Never thought I'd see the day!

    January 25, 2011 at 4:14 am |
  5. Sonya

    First, I agree with Steve about getting rid of the stupid cupcake and reality shows. Second, I see this as just another way for food manufacturers to destroy the natural flavor of foods. I'm sure that the smooth ingredients will have to be altered in some way to make them more suitable for the "food printer". It sounds just delicious. And why do we have to have things written on our food? It might be good for marketing your company, but it doubt that it will be good for the people who have to eat the printed 3 D marketing food.

    January 25, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  6. Steve

    Anything that takes us one step closer to getting rid of all those stupid cake and cupcake reality shows is a plus.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  7. The Witty One

    Sign me up! We should be using more power tools in the kitchen!

    January 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  8. Evil Grin

    This is definitely going to have corporate appeal, if people are smart. Once the technology becomes mass marketed and affordable (cheap), being able to print your logo on a cake, or do some really creative printing on food will probably be really big for advertisers. If companies are smart, they'll jump on this bandwagon before it's widely known. Once the "magic" has been seen too often, it becomes boring.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Joey

      You already can print your logo on a cake, its done all the time. Just go to your local gocery store and talk to them about it. People put pictures of themselves on cakes too.

      January 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • Evil Grin

        Yup, but those are for small quantities – like one or two cakes, and the process is time consuming, subject to human error and can be pricey.

        If you could print your logo on food cheaply, you can mass produce them and distribute them as marketing tools. For instance you could print dozens of cupcakes to hand out at your customer appreciation events, you can imprint breads or donuts and send them clients in gift baskets, that sort of thing. Companies already do this with the packaging for many food items, but being able to print directly onto the food will bring an extra wow-factor to the table. For a little while, it will impress people, who might then invest time or money or product into your company.

        January 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Joey Bag of Doughnuts

      @Evil Grin
      I think you missed the point... It doesn't just print ON food, it prints a 3D OBJECT made out of food. The icing being a 3D object "printed" on top of a cupcake in any shape they want. A "dome" shape printed on top of a cutting board. Definitely has a few applications down the road that people haven't even considerd yet.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
      • Steve

        Meh. Let me know when they finally invent a replicator like they use to make food on Star Trek.

        January 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • Evil Grin

        No point missed. It wouldn't be able to print the cupcake, just the icing on the cupcake. Until it could create the solid food as well, it would likely be used in marketing as a way to print soft foods on the solids.

        But yes, there's a lot of potential for some really interesting stuff.

        January 25, 2011 at 11:19 am |
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