Dec.1, 2013

3D printing is moving into the kitchen - yes soon some of our food will be made in layers.

Barcelona start-up Natural Machines' new invention: Foodini, a prototype 3D printer can produce a range of foodstuffs, chocolate, cheeseburger, gnocchi, ravioli, bread sticks... as long as they are squidgy.

Lynette Kucsma, the co-founder of Natural Machines, says they want to bring something a little different to the table. "Its function is more like food assembly, so it's important to not confuse what it does with actual cooking," Kucsma told Smithsonianmag. "It's probably most ideal for deserts or dishes with a meat or cheese paste, like ravioli. But even then it can be useful with many different kinds of food."

Foodini is not a machine which automates all your cooking, instead, it is developed to encourage more people to eat healthy, to eat home-cooked meal made with freshest ingredients. Normally preparing a meal takes a lot of time so people opt for the convenience of box mixes and frozen dinners.

Same as other 3D printers, the Foodini squeezes liquid materials onto a printing bed. The difference is that the Foodini can use six capsules for six different ingredients, each ingredient is squeezed out at different rates of pressure and temperatures. And it also has a heater built in to keep the food warm during the printing process.

The final prototype will be designed to look and operate just like a common kitchen appliance with a nice enclosure. The team has developed specialized software and a touchscreen interface that allows users to adjust the settings as easy as using tablets or smartphones. The Foodini also includes Wi-Fi for users to easily update software. The company hopes to build up an online community to interact and share recipes.

Images credit: Natural Machines

Natural Machines is going through the process to get its 3D printer approved by the FDA. Chief executive Emilio Sepulveda expects the Foodini will probably cost about 1,000 euros ($1,360; £830), and they are preparing to launch the Foodini 3D printer by the middle of next year.

Posted in 3D Printers

 

 

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