It’s only been a couple of days since we wrote something about a pancake printer, but already today we can confirm the existence of a new, highly interesting food printer. More precisely, we’re talking about a 3D printer able to print out fruit in only a few seconds. Cambridge design company Dovetailed today launches its first-ever fruit printer, and according to them this printed fruit is actually eatable.
Imaging not having to go to a greengrocer to get your fruits, but just being able to print out any kind of fruit at home: that sounds surreal, doesn’t it? Well, if we may believe Dovetailed and Cambridge News, then 3D printing pears and apples is the future. The company uses a technique called ‘spherification’ to print out their fruits. ‘Spherification’ is a so-called molecular-gastronomy technique, which uses a combination of individual liquid droplets and a variety of flavors to create fruit shapes.
This implies users are also able to customize their fruits themselves and to print them out in any kind of shape. In other words: a square pear and a triangular banana are both possibilities. The interesting thing about this project is also that this food printer is capable of printing out fruits in only a few seconds, which makes it an interesting option for cooks in busy restaurants. And that surely is not a coincidence, as chefs, foodies, and “anyone interested in making creative dining experiences” are the company’s target groups.
Dovetailed was founded in 2011 and has since been working on researching, designing and creating innovative food technologies, with the purpose of perfecting today’s dining experiences. Today, the company will come up with more information about its printer on Tech Food Hack, a Cambridge food innovations festival co-organized by Dovetailed itself.
— Dovetailed (@dovetailed_ux) May 21, 2014
2014 has so far been a good year for the field of food printing. 3D Systems has announced two food printers for the end of 2014: the ChefJet and ChefJet Pro. Both printers are capable of printing out sweets. In addition, they can as well be printed in any desired shape, which enabled 3D Systems to print out origami-shaped sweets. The company is now working together with candy giant Hersheys in order to bring 3D printed sweets to the masses.
And then there is Natural Machine’s project ‘Foodini’, which is a food printer that can print you healthy foods, whereby you can self decide which ingredients to be used for each meal. Unfortunately for them, their Kickstarter project turned out to become unsuccessful, but it does not stop the Barcelona-based company from further developing its Foodini printer. We can not yet confirm when it will be ready to enter the market, but the Natural Machines printer is definitely a printer to keep an eye on.
British project Insects au Gratin combines 3D printing with eating insects, which is another food development that is seen as the future of foods. The project focusses on creating a flour, which consists of crashed insects and larvae and chocolate, cream cheese or spices. The team uses this flour to produce breads that are full of protein and minerals.
And in addition, there are also some funny projects that are a little junk food-ish, but are definitely interesting projects worth mentioning. For instance, MELT Icepops in Amsterdam. They are 3D printing specially designed ice creams. The company uses a printer, which they call the Icepop Generator and take the machine with them to festivals to sell their 3D printed ice to large crowds of people. NASA has been using 3D printing techniques to print out a pizza and the space agency eventually wants to take 3D printers with them on space missions, in order to avoid having to continue eating space meals.
Credits images: Dovetailed.