By now most of us have heard of the 3D printing revolution and probably about the possibility of printing your food after Nasa announced that they were exploring the technology, but now a Spanish start-up is looking to bring that possibility to your kitchen in 2014.
Natural Machines based in Barcelona have unveiled the Foodini shown in the image.
This is a 3D printer for food that is intended to sit on the worktop in your kitchen. The printing apparatus is loaded with a mixture of choice and then it builds up the food layer by layer in much the same way as a 3D printer would.
The food printer is expected to go on sale mid-2014 for around £835 reports The Independent, and Natural Machines’ co-founder Lynette Kucsma said she is hoping that families and restaurants will both want to get their hands on the device.
“Retail food stores have shown an interest. They can both print food in-store to sell to consumers as well as sell pre-filled food capsules for consumers to take home to use in their machines,” said Kucsma. “It could be an option to buy pre-filled capsules, put them in the machine and print.”
Natural Machines claims that the Foodini combines “technology, food, art, and design” but the technology still has many limitations. For a start it can’t actually cook the food and it only works with a single ingredient at a time. So we assume form this that you will need to swap out the various ingredients to make multi-ingredient dishes and, you won’t be getting rid of the oven just yet.
However, it does seem that 3D printing food has its own natural territory - areas of cuisine where it's more efficient than human hands. The ability to plug the printer into a computer means that all sorts of novelty patterns become simple to make, and certain foods like pizza are said to look fairly convincing when printed out. This is probably one of the main areas of interest in a commercial setting.
This is without rout a technological marvel but, somehow we can’t see one being in many normal domestic homes anytime soon given the limitations and the price. It does however perhaps point to a way forward for the industry and we expect to see more of these sorts of innovations.
A Printed Pizza
A Printed Beanburger