One might say he’s a nerd in the kitchen, but at least Luis Rodríguez does something new. The young man calls himself a digital cook and he uses 3D printing to create the perfect pancake. Original idea? We absolutely think so.
Credits: Luis Rodríguez – Tumblr.
If Rodríguez would be boss of the kitchen, then cooks could pack their stuff, because his main goal is to merge food with rapid prototyping. In his first video he shows us how to make a pancake with a 3D printer. You can see the result in the picture above. Yes, it’s a pancake in the shape of a flower.
Dutch research institution TNO is working on a 3D food printer that can turn puréed food look like ‘real’ food again by printing it.
TNO-researcher Kjeld van Bommel expects that in five years food will be printed and served in nursing homes. “We are going to print 3d-broccoli florets out of puréed broccoli”. What happens now is that people with chewing and swallowing problems get a sort of milkshake with puréed food as a meal, three times a day.
“All the fun of eating disappears for these people, and because of this some people get underfed in nursing homes. Puréed chicken in the shape of a drumstick could change this. People then get food on their plate again that they have eat using cutlery. This way they feel less disadvantaged and will improve their eating habits. That again leads to a better quality of life. This printer also needs to be able to adjust the meals to the specific needs of patients, some patients need more calcium in their food for instance.” Said Van Bommel.
The European Union supports this project of TNO with funding until the end of 2014. After that, a prototype must be able to print a meal every minute. Van Bommel expects that a few years later production models will be able to print even faster and will be widely adopted in the health care industry.
Besides that, Van Bommel says that TNO is working together with a few major international food-companies (that need to remain anonymous) to develop 3d printing technologies for nutrients.
So what else can food printing be used for?
This technology can contribute to converting alternative ingredients such as proteins from algae, beet tops, or even insects into tasty products that are not only good for your health but also for the environment. A food printer also opens the way for fully customizable nutrition (Personalized Food) as it can make products that exactly fit the needs and preferences of individuals.
In addition, the printer can make sure that your personal dish is made at exactly the right time te ensure that a fresh and healthy dish waiting for you when you get home.
And finally, the printing of food provides enormous freedom in design. This applies not only to the 3D shape but also for the composition (the ingredients and their mutual relationship), the structure and texture, not to mention the taste. This makes it possible to develop products that can not be made otherwise.
Take a look at this great video by TNO:
Very interesting as well is this TEDx Brainport by Kjalt van Bommel
Chocolate 3D printer
During the Foodhack event in Eindhoven yesterday evening, Van Bommel showed a chocolade 3D printer TNO developed. This printer basically uses the conventional 3D printing FDM technology (layer by layer) but because there is no such thing as a chocolate spool, this printer uses a technique similar to that of a cream spray but automated. The chocolate is heated to make it liquid and after printing immediately cooled down using nitrogen.
Van Bommel doesn’t expect this machine to take over the role of baking companies but he expects a printer like this to be in the kitchen of hobbyists.
Sean Hegarty from CNCDudez informed us of his newest project, the 3D Printer Extruding Icing/Frosting for decorating Cakes and Buns. Their goal is to see if they could ice a cake (preferably also 3d printed) with the use of a 3d printer.
What they did is they attached an icing/piping extruder to a custom bracket they made for their printer. Then they adapted the extruder with a linear motor connected to the plunger, modified the firmware and created Gcode to get the feed rates correct.
The next video shows their first attempts. They are still testing as there are some problems with the consistency for the mixture. But as it seems now it won’t take long before we see our first perfectly iced cake made possible with the use of a 3D printer!
Make sure to check out their blog if you want to know more about this project.
Some new crazy materials have entered the 3D printing world recently. The most bizarre one has to be ice tea.
Open3DP, a site sponsored by the Solheim Additive Manufacturing Laboratory out of the University of Washington’s Mechanical Engineering Department has been experimenting with all sorts of materials. Now, they finally have a recipe for printed Ice tea (after some extensive research..). There’s only one downside, binders make it inedible… The real purpose of this invention has yet to be discovered, but still it’s pretty awesome!
Another crazy new material is sugar! In a technical sense its Caramel because the sugar is melted down by a heat gun. The new possibilities of this printed sugar are a candy lover’s wet dream. Why not make a giant edible screw?
This one is a one-to-watch. In the beginning of this week we covered a story about DShape. This company is currently leading the 3D printed stone revolution and has to be mentioned when talking about crazy new materials. The technology and process opens up 3D printing of large-scale structures. Incredible!
That 3D printing food is possible is no news for anybody who calls himself a 3D printing fan. That you can now buy your own food printer for only $3000 USD is on the other hand BIG news.
Essential Dynamics created the Imagine 3D Printer. This good looking machine can print a whole range of materials, including chocolate, silicone, cheese, epoxy, organics.. I can go on for a while but as the Essential Dynamics team claims: “It’s a syringe based design. If it extrudes, it prints.”. And it does it fast. The Imagine can print a chocolate cupcake under two minutes.
The Imagine printer comes fully assembled but has a long pre-order list so if you’re craving for one, be fast and order now.