#3Dprinting #foodcartridges #IoT #AI
While 3D printing is becoming increasingly accessible to us, the printing of food as well as its connection to our food apps, fitness devices and medical records is a future not far away. Bot food will serve different purposes in the future - it will make its way into our homes and feed a vast population on Earth as well as astronauts in space.
Refrigerator, Microwave, and
3D Printer at Home
Spanish company Natural Machines predicts that within a decade, their 3D printer, Foodini, will become as common an appliance as a microwave in a home. Their printer takes food ingredients in a capsule and prints them in different forms, and they have currently pitched to a Michelin star restaurant. Bocusini provides a plug-and-play food printer, where you can use your creativity to use designs you might find over the Internet to print food, with no need of knowledge of 3D printing software. Defacto's CEO Leandro Rolon, who is one among many guiding the 3D printing revolution, says that 3D printers might come embedded in a refrigerator.
3D Printing for the Elderly, Children and Health Food
A company called WASP (World's Advanced Saving Project) is testing the 3D printing of ordinary foods in a gluten free version to help people who might have celiac disease. In Germany, 3D food printers have been adopted to print pureed food (vegetables like carrots and broccoli) for the elderly, who might not be able to chew. Also, reports show that children who avoid certain foods can be enticed to eat them when they are printed in novel shapes, for example, printing vegetables to look like sea creatures.
Printing Food in Space
NASA has invested in 3D printing of food because astronauts are predicted to spend longer times in space in the future. Human delivery of food is too expensive for space missions and instead of days on end of eating frozen food, astronauts can print out fresh food using a 3D printer. A company called Beehex has developed a pizza printer for NASA, which will allow astronauts to prepare a pizza in space.
Sustainability and 3D Printing of Food
There are several predictions around how 3D printing is possibly the only solution for an upcoming global population boom - the global population is expected to be 9.6 billion in 2050. Joseph F Choughlin, founder and director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab, suggests that 3D printing can help with environmental sustainability - freeing up shelf space of perishable goods and reducing fuel emissions with a reduction of transport needs. Further, 3D food printing can also help with upcycling waste, for example, American designer, Andrew Kudless, has used grape skin waste from the wine-making process to create wine glasses.
3D printing in Restaurants and Vending Machines
FoodInk is a conceptual popup that uses 3D printers to print their food as well as the utensils and furniture, creating a futuristic gourmet experience for customers. Also, customized snacks and personalized food could be the future of vending machines. VTT Technical Research Center of Finland is already experimenting in this area to manufacture such vending machines commercially. Because of the layer-by-layer making process, consumers of 3D printing food have a lot to look forward to in terms of healthy food with great aesthetics and interesting textures.