Jan 6, 2015 | By Alec

Many consider food printing to be the holy grail of 3D printing technology. After all, its potential market consists of every kitchen with a microwave, and not just the garages of tinkerers and hobbyists. It’s therefore hardly surprising that so many companies and start-ups are looking at different possibilities and 'food filaments'.

And while this is still very much an on-going process, several companies are closer to actual results than others. The Taiwan-based XYZPrinting (owned by the Kinpo Group) is especially known for its basic 3D printers in the sub $500 range, but has already made substantial progress with a marketable Food Printer too. They already unveiled 3D Food Printer last November, but now they brought their intriguing device along to the International CES 2015 in Las Vegas – one of the largest gatherings for consumer technology in the world – where visitors could actually taste 3D printed cookies.

XYZPrinting also revealed more about its specifics. Last November, they promised that their Food 3D Printer (expected to be released in the second half of 2015) would simply be cheaper than similar devices, but now an actual price tag of just $500 was added to it. Not bad, right? Only the price for the food capsules it uses as material aren’t known just yet.

In a nutshell, their Food Printer is a device that can 3D print chocolate, sugar, cookie dough, icing, and similar uncooked treats. Several of these can even be combined, though the results (especially the cookies!) will need to be baked before consuming. It’s one of the typical phases that complicates the technology to 3D print ready-made meals, but it doesn’t make this affordable machine any less impressive as it is.

Aside from the ‘filament’, it operates just like any other FDM 3D printer and runs on the same software used for the company’s other printers.. It can create just about any shape you want by imputing pre-made designs from the web or from an USB drive, and even comes with a touch screen that lets you choose a pre-set food shape easily. It features a print bed of approximately 200x150x150 mm, so we can look forward to some decently sized cookies! At the CES, the machine printed a variety of decorations on slices of bread, while reportedly ‘delicious’ premade (and baked) cookies could also be tasted.

The printer’s full specifications are:

  • Printer Dimension: 420 x 427 x 605 mm
  • Print jets: multiple (50-100 cc*3)
  • Nozzle diameter: 1/2/4/8 mm (optional)
  • Display: 5" touch screen
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Maximum creation size: 200 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Layer thickness: 0.8-6.4 mm
  • Software: XYZware
  • Operating System: Win 7/Win 8/Mac OSX 10.8
  • File Types: STL and XYZ format

While the XYZPrinting Food Printer is thus not quite the holy grail cooking appliance that extrudes, combines and bakes a lasagne for us, it definitely looks like an interesting machine. Especially its decent price suggests that 3D printed food could be marching into restaurants, bakeries and even the odd private kitchen this year. 

Also check out the 3D Food Printer in action at the International CES here:

 

Posted in 3D Printers

 

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