Food printing is the most recent hype in the world of 3D printing. This production method 3D prints food layer-by-layer, and several companies are working on techniques to print out proper meals. 3dprinting.com is keeping an eye on the world’s developments and we bring you the ones worth following in 2014.
Last year’s December, we asked ourselves the question whether our future food would become 3D printed. Obviously, it’s hard to give a proper answer to this question, as the technique is still in its developing phase. However, the first signs of food printing are already entering the market. Companies such as Choc Edge and Pic Chocolates are offering services to 3D print people’s self-designed chocolate figurines. In the long term, Natural Machines is a more relevant company to mean something for the overall food sector. The company works on a 3D printer to produce anything that’s made of dough, paste or stiff liquid, such as all pastas and breads.
A lot of new developments have entered the radar since the start of 2014, with Insects au Gratin as the most interesting one. British scientists are working on a way to produce appetizing meals from insects, using 3D printers. Insects will be turned into flour, after which a 3D printer turns the flour into protein-rich products, such as bread. The flour is a combination of crashed insects and larvae and chocolate, cream cheese or spices. The project might initially turn your stomach upside down, but noting that the world population is expected to grow, new ways of producing food will be necessary.
Not as healthy as the insects project, but definitely worth mentioning is a project by 3D Systems. The company will deliver two new food printers at the second half of 2014. The ChefJet and ChefJet Pro are designed to produce 3D printed candy. Users will be given the possibility to design their own sweets on their computers using any shape they want to. Douglas Cobb from The Guardian checked out a demonstration of the printers during CES 2014 and reported that some of the sweets looked more like origami than actual candy.
And then there’s NASA, who wants food printing to solve its terrible space meals. In 2013, Anjan Contractor received as much as 125,000 dollars to design a food printer to print out pizzas in space. Contractor has stated that it only costs about 70 seconds to cook a pizza after it’s being printed. Probably a big relief for cosmonauts – and more than forty years after having sent the first man to the moon, the time now seems right for the first 3D printed pizza on the moon.
Image credits: Janne Kyttanen/ Ivo de Bruijn (photographer).