Everybody loves food, and you’ll love to eat more if you can create a physical model of it. Yes, you’re reading it right. You can create a physical model of the food you’re eating. Then, you would say – are you kidding, how?
The answer is simple – you can use a 3D food printer. As the name suggests, you can create or print food using the device. Here’s a short description of a 3D food printer:
A 3D food printer is a CAM or computer-aided manufacturing device that creates or prints three-dimensional objects. (In this article, we’ll talk about creating food using the printer.)
How Does a 3D Food Printer Work?
Are you familiar with how the traditional 3D printer works? It’s similar to how a 3D food printer operates. Here’s the magic behind the printer:
The 3D food printer receives data or information from the computer. (We call this process as the input.) Then, the printer creates a three-dimensional object from a material rather than printing the model on paper.
Like other 3D printers, a 3D food printer uses additive manufacturing process to print a food by layers until you see a finished model. A 3D food printer can build food models from scratch that means the device produces fewer waste materials.
Now, you might be wondering – who invented the 3D food printer? Let’s find out the answer to that question in this article.
3D Food Printers – Discovery and Development
The idea of printing food such as mango or pizza began during the same time filament printers were invented. But 3D food printers weren’t successful at that time. The first known printers that have abilities of food printing were developed at Cornell University during 2005.
Despite an unfavorable beginning, people became interested in 3D food printers in 2017. Here a few of the noteworthy reasons that spark the curiosity of the masses about 3D food printers:
- Food printers are great and healthy for the environment because it converts alternative ingredients such as beet leaves and proteins to tasty food.
- 3D food printers open doors for food customization. Thus, people can express their individual food preferences and needs.
If you’re a fan of the Star Trek series, you might be familiar with the Replicator. Yes, the food manufacturer in the movie that can create food and dishes down to the molecule. Well, we have our version of the Replicator in a 3D food printer!
That’s right! But we’re not in a sci-fi movie by the way – 3D food printers are for real. Many innovators are introducing food printers that can make pasta, chocolate, sugar, and other favorites. The possibilities of creating your own food are limitless!
But the first results of food printers aren’t that awesome. The first printed foods come from pasta and sugar. These foods aren’t good for consumption. But don’t worry! Advanced technology has the answer to that – FDM printers.
People perfect the food printing process using FDM printers. Now, you can make sweets, chocolates, and even your favorite meals. One of the major turning points of 3D food printers is the creation of complex shapes and designs. During the early days, it’s difficult to make complex designs. Today, say hello to yummy and delicious dishes that are so mouthwatering.
3D Food Printers in Space
The 3D food printing technology caught engineer’s attention at NASA. In 2008, NASA started a research on printed food. Some engineers at NASA called the project “the 3D food printing origin” and then began another project. The project named – Advanced Food Program made astronauts happy.
The project aimed at feeding astronauts so that they can complete longer missions. The project gave astronauts the first pizza in space. The print pizza only needs to be pushed in the oven, and that’s it!
3D food printers in space made the lives of astronauts less hassle. An astronaut’s life in space became easier by eating 3D printed food. NASA noticed the great advantage of 3D food printing technology is space.
For example, the foods in space look unattractive and dull for astronauts. But a 3D food printer can change that. 3D print foods look more delicious and pleasing than space foods. So, astronauts would have a high appetite during longer missions.
3D Food Printing and Health Opportunities
Let’s face it – people don’t often eat spinach or broccoli. (Children can relate to this.) If you give a child vegetables, the child will ignore the food. But what if you add a little creativity to the dish? Yes, that’s right, and we’re talking 3D printed food!
You can turn a normal spinach into a dinosaur shape and serve it to your child. You’ll be amazed at your child’s reaction. 3D food printers open opportunities in choosing the ingredients of your food. Since veganism, dairy-free, and gluten-free are rising, 3D food printers can respond to these trends.
In using a 3D food printer, you can select the ingredients you want to include in your diet. Here’s another surprise – did you know that you can connect your devices to a 3D food printer?
Oh yes! Some people who are using fitness trackers (displaying calorie consumption) transfer information to their 3D food printers. In turn, the food printer creates a meal based on your data. If you’ll ask, how’s that possible? That’s the magic of 3D food printers!
3D Food Printers Today
Most people welcome and love the idea of 3D printed food. 3D printers make foods such as vegetables and fruits attractive. Children and even elderly people who don’t like vegetables would be encouraged to eat the dishes.
But despite this advantage, there are little blocks to the 3D food printing success. An example of this is 3D printed foods need to be cooked first before you eat these. (No one wants to eat uncooked food, right?)
But researchers are conducting studies to cook the food during the printing process. Lasers can be used to cook the food so you can eat it after the printing process. Right now, more studies and experiments are made to make laser cooking effective.
Who knows? Recent developments would shed light on other advantages of using 3D food printers.