Dec 15, 2016 | By Benedict

Italian food company Barilla and contest design company Desall have joined forces to run a competition for designing innovative 3D printed pasta shapes. Barilla previously developed a pasta 3D printer that was presented at CIBUS 2016, an international food exhibition. Buon appetito!

3D printing is not primarily known for its food making capabilities, but chefs, food producers, and consumers are slowly developing an appetite for culinary 3D prints. The latest instance of 3D printing in the food world comes from Italy, where Parma-based Barilla has organized an exciting creative contest for food lovers and 3D printing experts. With the help of online contest organizer Desall, Barilla has challenged digitally minded chefs to take part in the €3,000 Smart Pasta competition by creating “3D shapes with a purpose.”

To celebrate its 140th birthday, Barilla, one of the world’s premier pasta suppliers, is looking to the future rather than indulging in the past. How? By hunting down new and exciting pasta shapes designed specifically for its pasta 3D printer. According to the Italian company, it is looking for 3D printable shapes that convey “the values and the care for tradition that have always characterized the Barilla brand.” We're getting hungry already...

A 3D printed pasta shape printed on the Barilla 3D printer

The Smart Pasta contest has listed several design guidelines aimed at helping designers come up with the best 3D printable pasta shapes. For example, one area in which designers can exercise a lot of creative freedom is size, since the food 3D printer is capable of printing shapes much larger than standard pasta shapes. Designers are also encouraged to create unique pasta geometries designed to interact in particular ways with other foods.

“Try, for example, to think how the pasta shape you suggest might interact with the other ingredients of the recipe (i.e. how the sauce will be contained in the pasta shape, how it will blend with it, etc.),” Barilla explains. “Otherwise, try to consider the various effects you might obtain: changing the pasta geometry in some points, causing a metamorphosis, a change of state, a transformation of the pasta shape in the cooking or preparation processes.”

To enter the Smart Pasta contest, entrants need to upload all necessary materials, including renderings, descriptions, and CAD files, to the Desall-hosted contest page, taking into consideration the fact that projects containing 3D files will be particularly welcomed. Participants can also attach a .zip archive containing extra materials to their application, while an abstract explaining the concept behind the 3D printable pasta shape is of particular importance.

The Barilla pasta 3D printer in action

Similar to FDM 3D printers, the Barilla pasta 3D printer allows the deposition, layer by layer, of a fresh dough (prepared with Durum Wheat Semolina and water, but possibly also with other ingredients), through a nozzle that moves along the X, Y, and Z axes. Barilla claims that the 3D printer is capable of producing forms that would be impossible using current industrial production technologies.

Contest participants can submit their 3D printable designs until March 1, 2017, with the winners expected to be announced on May 1, 2017. Participation is free of charge, and three chosen winners will each receive €1,000 in prize money.

While technical constraints must be taken into account when designing the 3D printable pasta shapes, Barilla ultimately implies that creativity will be the most important factor when deciding upon a winner: “Do not limit yourselves to what you have seen so far in the pasta world, but go beyond that, exploring all the potential and possibilities enabled by this new technology.”



Posted in 3D Printing Events



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