We all loved the idea of a 3D printed restaurant, serving 3D printed food, to be eaten with 3D printed cutlery, as you sat down on your 3D printed table.
However, the 3D printed food technology was not yet ready for home use. All that is about to change; the Hod Lipson’s printer at the Columbia’s Creative Machines Lab (CML) is a pretty gadget, much like your coffee machine rather than the traditional mess of tubes that is a 3D printer.
Lipson’s printer offers more than just good looks. While other 3D food printers are nothing but piping machines, Lipson’s printer understands that making food is a form of art.
The printer can tackle multiple ingredients simultaneously and can come up with an intricately designed dish. The food is cooked using an IR heating element fixed in the arm.
The printer was designed by Jerson Mezquita of CML in collaboration with Drim Stokhuijzen, is an industrial design graduate student from the Delft University of Technology. The printer can store eight cartridges, filled with different ingredients in its slots and grabs them, as programmed, to extrude the food.
Lipson is adamant that despite its incredible progress, the 3D printed food technology will never replace the conventional cooking techniques:
“Food printers are not meant to replace conventional cooking—they won’t solve all of our nutritional needs nor cook everything we should eat.”
The 3D food printer allows its users to put in the exact amount of nutrients and even specify target minerals or vitamins. Who knows, maybe in future, a 3D food printer is your personal nutritionist?