Generally speaking, if you want to start 3D printing edible stuff, you need a dedicated, purpose-built 3D food printer. The ones that print plastic aren’t properly equipped to handle foodstuffs, and that’s just the way it goes. Period.
But now, thanks to German startup Print2Taste, you might soon be able to change that. The fledgling Munich-based company has recently taken to Kickstarter to launch a plug-and-play 3D food printing system called Bocusini. It’s certainly not the first device of its kind, but what makes this one special is the fact that it can be retrofitted onto the 3D printer you already own. Just replace your printer’s plastic extruder with Bocusini’s food extruder, and you can start printing edibles in any shape you like.
Instead of feeding plastic filament through a heated nozzle, Bocusini works like a super-precise pastry bag, depositing food onto your plate layer by layer from a syringe-like cartridge. These cartridges come pre-filled with a wide range of different edibles — including cookie dough, fudge, jelly, caramel, marzipan, meringue, icing, cream cheese, butter, and even paté.
And as if that wasn’t awesome enough on its own, Bocusini also comes bundled with an accompanying software application that makes the creation process a breeze. Don’t feel like going through all the trouble of building a 3D model and loading it onto the printer just to make a snack? Not to worry — Bocusini’s app sports a freehand creation mode, allowing you to draw stuff MS Paint-style and send it straight to the printer when you’re done. No 3D modeling experience? No problem.
The device isn’t available for purchase quite yet, but Print2Taste has produced a number of working prototypes, and has recently taken to Kickstarter to gather funds for large-scale production. Back the project now, and can get your hands on the retrofit kit for about $278. If you don’t already have a 3D printer to affix it to, a pledge of $613 will get you a Bocucini pre-mounted onto an entry-level PrintBot.