NASA had earlier surprised by exploring the prospect of 3D printing food, but the surprise levels have jumped big guns with Foodini, the creation of a Spanish startup ‘Natural Machines’ that’s all set to redefine cooking come 2014. And it’s tad easy to use.Load up the printing apparatus with the ingredients of your choice (say dough, cheese, sauce, etc.), and then it creates food layer by layer. The machine shall most probably go on sale mid-2014 for a price of £835. Natural Machines’ co-founder Lynette Kucsma believes that families and restaurants would want to own this appliance at their respective place. She said- “Retail food stores have shown an interest. They can both print food in-store to sell to consumers as well as sell pre-filled food capsules for consumers to take home to use in their machines. It could be an option to buy pre-filled capsules, put them in the machine and print.” She further added, “Its function is more like food assembly, so it’s important to not confuse what it does with actual cooking. It’s probably most ideal for deserts or dishes with a meat or cheese paste, like ravioli. But even then it can be useful with many different kinds of food.”
The company believes that Foodini is a beautiful combination of “technology, food, art, and design”, but there’s still a lot on the technology front that it could grow upon. For one, the appliance does not ACTUALLY cook the food- all the 3D printed food has to be further cooked in an oven or something, and the machine limits itself to just one ingredient at a time.
But there’s still a huge ground out there where this machine scores over human hands. Plugging the printer into a computer implies that all sorts of novelty items become simple to make, and particular foods like pizza looks extremely uniform and yum when printed out. It employs five capsules to ‘print’ ingredients at various temperatures and pressures via a heating element, and the company hails it a winner when it comes to making biscuits, ravioli, and burgers.
No doubt that this is a forward march for 3D-printing, where printing food is being pushed into the mainstream category. Whether it lives up to your mommy’s standards is all there’s left to see.
Watch this video to catch Foodini in action-