Jul 27, 2017 | By Tess

If the fruit section at your local grocery story does not meet your aesthetic needs or if round peaches and apples are not exciting enough for you, this recent project by a team of Australian researchers will certainly grab your interest. Called “Future Fruit,” the project consists of a 3D food customization interface which allows users to pretty much design their own futuristic fruit and 3D print it.

Of course, the design tool and 3D printing technology are not quite advanced enough to 3D print real and edible fruit, but the process behind designing your own fruit is surprisingly thought out. That is, not only are users able to design their own fruit based on certain visual parameters such as size, shape, color, texture, etc., but all the fruit results are based on real plant development processes.

The project is being developed by a team from the HUB Studio, an experimental media lab based at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. According to the team, the Future Fruit project began as partnership between the design and science faculties at the university that was aimed at developing a “fruit modeling system to experiment with genetic modification specifications.”

While working on the project, however, the team discovered that their fruit modeling technology had the potential to be paired with 3D printing technology, ideally a food 3D printer. Evidently, the technology is in its early days, so we shouldn’t expect to be eating 3D printed future fruit anytime soon, but perhaps someday!

“Future Fruit is potentially a playful way to deliver custom designed food with the addition of flavours and vital nutrients to people living in remote locations or in places where certain deficiencies are identified,” said the researchers of their fun and innovative endeavor.

The Future Fruit design program incorporates game development tools and is compatible with a range of different platforms, including desktop computers, touchscreen devices, and virtual reality. The stated goals of the Future Fruit project are to “recapitulate images of common fruit, visualize novel concepts for existing fruit, and envision fruit beyond our imagination.”

The HUB team says it may also be possible to determine what fruit features are most important to users, which could ultimately give insight into how to biologically create future fruit. The project is being funded by the Institute for Future Environments’ (IFE) 2016 Catapult funding program. The IFE’s current theme is Growing the Global Bioeconomy.

While we may not be able to enjoy eating any 3D printed future fruit for some time, I imagine users could 3D print some pretty amazing future fruit bowls for their dining room tables.

 

 

Posted in 3D Software

 

 

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