3D Food Printing: The most delightful application

Food, the most delightful application of 3D printing!

3D food printing is the process of producing a food product using various types of additive manufacturing techniques. You can think of the printer as a pizza vending machine while the ink as ingredients to make a pizza. Within the 3D printer, the dough is prepared and topped with tomato sauce as well as cheese. This product is then sent to the oven and is ready to serve.

Where is it used?

3D printed food is most likely used in gourmet dining, molecular kitchen, or some fancy bakeries. Meanwhile, some creative bakers have started using 3D printing technology when decorating their cakes. Some have even used this technology to create accessible meals for seniors who struggle to have solid food.

3D printed food in Food Ink, the world’s first 3D printing restaurants.

What kind of food can be 3D printed?

Food that requires paste-like inputs such as purées, mousses, and some viscous food like chocolate ganache can be 3D printed. This process goes by the name of material extrusion, which is by far the most common 3d printing process, similar to FDM printing. It might sound a little bit restricted at first. However, think of the combination of different varieties of these foods, you will be fascinated.

Examples of 3D printed food.

Examples of 3D food printing restaurants

Fast forward to 2020, 3D printing restaurant is already available in the market. For instance, Food Ink Restaurant in the UK, Mélisse Restaurant in Santa Monica, and La Enoteca at Hotel Arts in the heart of Barcelona are all 3D printing restaurants. In reality, 3D printed food is still a pretty new field and has a long way to go. However, the future potential and possibilities of 3D printed food are beyond doubt.

Can 3D printers cook food?

The main objective of 3D printers is usually for architecture involving shapes and designs, not for the purpose of cooking. Normally the edibles are either ready to be consumed or will be cooked in a cooker (oven or griller) once the 3D process has been done.

There are still some exceptions. For example, the PancakeBot 3D printer not only can make pancakes by extruding the ingredients onto a hot plate, but it can also cook the pancake. Even though it still requires someone to flip the pancake, but other than that everything is done with the machine.


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