Aug 27, 2015 | By Alec

So far, 2015 has been filled with little hints and sneak peeks of fascinating upcoming food 3D printers, all of which are suggesting that these machines will become commonplace in (professional) kitchens everywhere within just a few years. But perhaps most promising and remarkable among them, was the unveiling of the German-designed Bocusini 3D food printer, for its ability to work with a theoretically endless list of food cartridges. While promises are one thing, we are happy to report that this Bocusini plug-and-play food 3D printer is progressing well, its cartridges seem to work, and it is now scheduled for a release in February 2016. The Bocusini has also opened for preorders.

To refresh your memories, we last saw the Bocusini 3D printer in May of this year, when they launched a very interesting Kickstarter campaign that will have definitely caught to eye of other jealous developers. It also did well with the audience, raising just over €40,000 in pledges, a lot more than their €30,000 goal. However, Kickstarter promises are little more than promises, and we all remember examples of campaigns that did not at all go according to plan. In this case, we can report that progress is virtually completely on schedule. The initial plan was a January 2016 release, which has now been moved to February of that year.

So what exactly is so special about the Bocusini? When compared with other machines, it is above all just different and more accessible. For while most of the 3D food printers we’ve seen so far are either simple chocolate extruders or complicated and user unfriendly prototypes, the Bocusini is shaping up to become a fascinating, easy-to-use and multipurpose device. This German-made machine has been developed by the trio Melanie, Johannes and Sebastian, who together have more than 20 years’ worth of experience in studies towards nutritional and sensorial characteristics of food and its properties.

Introduction of the Bocusini food 3D printer.

Perhaps that is the reason for their emphasis on accessibility. ‘Bocusini is an easy-to-use open source food printing system for gastronomy, patisserie and home applications. It consists of a heated food printing head mounted to a standard 3D printer, a selection of easy to change cartridges with printable food, an intuitive user interface and the web platform with creative food designs and recipes,’ they explained at the time. ‘It is plug & play. This makes it the perfect tool for creative chefs or confectioners as well as for creative end users.’

However, this seems to hardly affect the printing quality itself. For while most food 3D printers are hardly capable of vertical printing, the German designers behind the Bocusini have found that some materials – especially marzipan – are perfect for truly 3D food creations. To illustrate, they have even 3D printed the famous calibration boat in marzipan. ‘Further breakthough in 3D food printing: incredible overhang and free standing bridges printed from marzipan! The result was much better than I expected. The moment I realized it works, I immediately took my smart device and took a Video [above] of this event: printing 90° angles and free standing bridges with marzipan for the first time ever,’ they say.

3D printing a calibration boat in marzipan.

But key in the entire concept are the convenient food cartridges that can be easily inserted into the printhead with little fuss. ‘The Bocusini cartridges will come in volumes of 60 ml, thus contain up to 100 g of the food product - making it really productive,’ they wrote. And while they were simply optimistic about what these cartridges can be filled with, a lot more is now becoming known about them.

For as they explain on their regularly updated website, they have been developing these cartridges with a team of food experts (chefs, confectioners and chocolatiers, as well as food and nutritional scientists) for the last two years now, with the express goal of maintaining taste, appearance and printability. ‘Due to our experience, only the thoroughly optimized combination of the food printing head, the food printing conditions, the printable food product and the food objects to be printed will lead to a satisfying and easily reproducible food printing result for everybody,’ they say.

3D printing in pate.

This has already led to some interesting results. Looking over at their website, you can now easily find a series of initial recipes and the food cartridges that go with them. They have, for instance, already had quite some success with 3D printing liver pate, as you can see in the clip above. The material itself already has quite a good consistency, so the recipe is fairly straightforward after filling the cartridge. ‘Print your favourite model on a nice plate and decorate it with savoury side dishes like pickles and mustard. Serve it with fresh baguette or toast and enjoy your personalized starter, the recipe says.

They have even already shared a recipe for filling your own cartridges with mashed potato, which you can make yourself at home from starchy potatoes, butter, milk, nutmeg and salt and pepper. And for each of the six recipes (also including three in differently colored marzipan and one in jelly), they also provide freely downloadable STL files to complete the food printing experience. The mashed potato, for instance, is used for very fun octopi that go perfect with a ratatouille, they say.

These cartridges thus do definitely open up a wide range of creative food options to the users, though most of the pre-filled cartridges will be released later than the actual machine. Initially, the Bocusini is expected to come with two food options they now reveal: Marzipan and Chocolate: ‘Printed hot, these [Marzipan] cartridges will contain a deliciously tasting marzipan composed mainly from premium blanched and hulled almonds. Natural colours from fruits and vegetables will open a large variety of different colours,’ they say. The chocolate option, meanwhile, will be made from high quality cacao and sugar to ensure that the quality of the food matches the quality of the experience.

In short, the Bocusini seems to have all the qualities it needs to succeed in and beyond the 3D printing community, and we are eagerly awaiting its release for more about this fascinating machine. If you’re interested yourself but missed out on the Kickstarter, good news! You can now also pre-order your very own Bocusini 3D printer through their website here.


Posted in 3D Printers



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Mux wrote at 8/31/2015 3:32:03 AM:

When compared to other machines..its a printbot metal!

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