By: Joanna Carbajal
With 3D printed medication, motorcycles, cars and body parts - is it surprising to say that you can 3D print your pizza?
Additive manufacturing allows restaurants, bakeries and confectioneries to create unique pieces of art in a whole new way. Instead of spending numerous hours making a complicated castle sculpture out of chocolate, you can just 3D print one. This allows for further customization of food items in less amounts of time and effort. In other words, it’s all about automation and reducing the cost of customization.
Let’s look at some interesting examples:
(Image: Food Ink)
Food Ink, based in the UK, is a genuine example of what future restaurants may look like. Their chairs, tables, utensils, lamps and food are all 3D printed.
Image: Christina Ascani/Mashable
The XYZ Food Printer makes cookies, pizza, scones and even meat pies for certain food chains in China and Australia. Yes, the dinosaurs on the image above are edible.
BeeHex, based out of the Silicon Valley, 3D prints pizza. NASA originally funded them to make food for astronauts since space food is not overly tasty. Since then, the company has entered commercial markets using the Chef 3D printer. BeeHex hopes to put their printers to work in malls and theme parks. They will only need 1 person to operate the machines. Other than making pizza in just 6 minutes, they are also working on 3D dessert decorators. You no longer need artistic experience to decorate your desserts!
The Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen is conducting a new study that uses additive manufacturing to make customized food for hospital patients. The food is customized to their needs - smoother textures for patients that have a hard time swallowing and giving them the specific nutrients they need.
There are many other examples - Foodini (3D printed pasta, quiche and brownies), Hod Lipson (nutrition bars and pastries) and Barilla (noodles) - which all have a common tie. They are able to use additive manufacturing to make food faster and more creatively.
Where is this going? After all, any one of us can customize our pizza already, right? The difference is that a printed pizza or other food item will be more automated (and therefore cost less), as well as be more customizable for your calorie, vitamin and supplement needs, and if you want your own face on the pie, then that’s an option too.
Image Credit: Domenico Crolla