You probably know that 3d printers They have been used to create everything from mechanical mechanisms and electrical parts to prosthetics and living human tissue. But did you know that they are also used for food printing? It sounds a bit like Food-a-ra-a-cycle from the Jetsons cartoons, but it takes place in real life.

Why 3D Print Food?

3D printing is quickly becoming one of the most important technologies in today’s memory, and it’s no surprise that it’s being used in just about every industry, even in the home. — but most people will be surprised to learn that food can be 3D printed. And the first question you could ask is, “Why do we need this?”


One of the ideas the researchers have developed is to create interesting foods for people on soft food diets, such as those living in retirement communities or hospital patients. Instead of putting your regular food in a blender, you could print a softer version of your favorite food.

Changing the texture and consistency of food can also help people who don’t like one aspect of food enjoy others: for example, if you don’t like the texture of tomatoes, you can print a different product from Tomto Base, which includes all the nutrients you get from raw tomato.

There are also a few other practical considerations: creating complex chocolate designs can be tricky with traditional methods, but some very complex and impressive chocolate treats have been made using 3D printers. When it comes to other products, Barilla has a 3D pasta design competition. If you are a 3D printing enthusiast, you can enter the competition on Thingarage.

Allergens can even be removed from favorite foods. NASA is reviewing the process of long term space missions. The US Army is even considering using 3D food printing on the front lines.

Many people don’t like to cook. cooking and 3D printing offers a way to get foods that don’t contain the preservatives found in most packaged options, but don’t require the amount of cooking that most fresh produce does. The ability to print a quiche, some pasta sauce, or a veggie burger with fresh ingredients will appeal to many people. And, of course, there’s the fun factor: It’s just great to print food.

How it works?

It is clear that there are many reasons why you can 3D print products. It is less clear how this process works. Let’s look at it, step by step.


As with 3D printing, you start with raw materials. Except that plastic cartridges are loaded instead of the printer, the cartridges in food 3D printers are filled with edible materials; the same kinds of materials that are currently used in food analogues that we eat all the time, such as veggie burgers and soy cheese.

Different printers use different materials; the Foodini machine uses capsules that contain freshly prepared ingredients (basically standard foods mixed into a paste). Choc Edge uses melted chocolate. Other printers use a combination of powders and oils.

After that, it’s the familiar 3D printing process: the machine dispenses ingredients from nozzles into capsules, layer by layer, until a food product is created. It can be a one-ingredient meal like chocolate, or it can be complex like pizza. In the case of more complex products, the ingredients are layered in the correct order and quantity.

3d printed cheese

Finally, at least in many cases, food is cooked in the oven. 3D printers can’t cook food just yet, but that’s a feature manufacturers would like to offer in the future. The whole process isn’t as fast as you’ve seen in the Jetsons and sci-fi. films is actually slower than other 3D printing methods, but could potentially be significantly faster than hand-cooking fresh food. Especially if the printer can be set to a timer so that after printing out the lunch, you can print out the lunch, ready to put in the oven.

Will it infect?

For now, the days of food-raku-a-cycle in every home seem far away. There aren’t many consumer models at the moment; they are mostly limited to professional ones. But companies are lowering the prices of these machines in the hope that they will become much more popular. However, manufacturers would have to make a big marketing push to convince the public that their food printing is «weird».

3d printed veggie-burger-full

However, we now use several kitchen appliances as well so that people never think it will be widespread; The arrival of the countertop microwave oven in the 1960s met with some suspicion and confusion. And now almost everyone uses one. 3D printers will be connected to the Internet of Things, another recent technology that people are slowly starting to adopt, as can be seen in the proliferation of connected appliances.

For now, it looks like 3D printed products will be more enthusiastically received by people who need or will be assisted by alternative methods of cooking — soldiers, astronauts, or people with food allergies and dietary restrictions. And while modern 3D printing products are often distinctly different from more traditional alternatives, it is likely that the technology will evolve rapidly. we may find that 3D printing allows us to have a finer blend of ingredients that actually enhances the flavor beyond what we have been able to do in the past.

It’s hard to say what the future might bring, but it’s clear that 3D food printing is here to stay.

What do you think about 3D food printing? Would you buy a 3D printer? Does it make you nervous? Do you think it’s completely unnecessary? Share your thoughts below!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Natural Machines.

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