Amazing new 3D food printer concept shows how we'll be cooking our meals in 2020

Of all the potential applications of 3D printing, one of the use-cases we hear far too little about is the idea of using additive manufacturing for printing food.

While a few restaurants have experimented with the technology to create interesting results, it’s not something which on the radar for most people in terms of their likely purchases for the home. That’s something that researchers at Columbia University in New York City are hoping to change, however, with their concept for a consumer food 3D printer, which could comfortably fit on the countertop of just about any kitchen.

“What I wanted to do was to create a machine that would help explain to people what the main function of 3D food printing will be, and how such a printer will fit into their daily lives,” industrial design graduate student Drim Stokhuijzen told Digital Trends. “I wanted this to be the espresso machine of 3D printers.”

Working alongside Columbia’s mechanical engineering professor Hod Lipson, and International Culinary Center (ICC) director of food technology Chef Hervé Malivert, Stokhuijzen’s food-based 3D printer is capable of not only extruding 3D-printed foods (printed from various frozen pureed base ingredients), but also cooking it directly afterward. Right now, it’s still just a proof-of-concept for a product which might ship around 2020 — but it’s all based on real-world technologies, and is a fascinating glimpse into the immediate future of home dining.

Stokhuijzen says his interest in the project was partially sparked by his own desire to understand why 3D printing a meal was important. “Today, we’re in a world of farm-to-table food, where everything has to be organic, fresh and sustainable,” he said. “That world and the world of 3D printing seemed contradictory, but it became increasingly obvious to me where the use-cases will be.” For example, Stokhuijzen notes that 3D printing food creates little waste since people only print what they need. The ability to build a food object layer-by-layer also makes it possible to have precise control over the nutritional content of food. For more adventurous chefs, it also opens up new possibilities for daring creations that would be impossible to create in any other way.

“Food printing is still at the start of its journey,” he said. “But I think this is a realistic look at what 3D food printers will look like, how they will work, and how they’ll interact with the consumer.”

It doesn’t hurt that everything about this concept looks gorgeous, either. Suddenly 2020 can’t come around quick enough!

Emerging Tech

‘Rogue medicine in a bathtub’: 4 experts on the vice and virtue of pharma hacking

A biohacker, pharmahacker, and two bioethicists walk into a bar. We ordered them a metaphorical round and had a chat about the risks and rewards of DIY medicine — from unsanctioned gene therapy to medication made on the kitchen counter.
Emerging Tech

A treasure trove of 3D scientific specimens is now free to see online

Thanks to the California Academy of Sciences, you can access more than 700 scientific specimens and artifacts from the world-class collection via the online 3D and virtual reality platform Sketchfab.
Emerging Tech

Stanford A.I. can realistically score computer animations just by watching them

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a computer system that’s able to synthesize realistic sounds for 3D animation, based entirely on its knowledge about the physical world.
Product Review

Samsung DW80M9 Chef Collection dishwasher review

Samsung aims to change the dishwasher game with its newest model, the DW80M9 Chef Collection model featuring Samsung’s WaterWall technology. But it’s the thoughtful design elements that really make this dishwasher stand out.

How to connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your PC

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Emerging Tech

Regular Wi-Fi can accurately detect bombs, chemicals, and weapons in bags

Surveillance cameras and bag searches have become commonplace when it comes to security in public venues. But researchers may have found a different way to detect suspicious items: regular Wi-Fi.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Science says waste beer could help us live on Mars

Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a new super-insulating gel, created from beer waste, which could one day be used for building greenhouse-like habitats on Mars.
Emerging Tech

Engineers have made a new type of lithium battery that won’t explode

While statistically rare, the lithium-ion batteries used in mobile devices have been known to burst into flames. Researchers from University of Michigan have been working to change that.
Emerging Tech

Genetically engineered bacteria paint microscopic masterpieces

By engineering E. coli bacteria to respond to light, scientists at the University of Rome have guided it like tiny drones toward patterns that depict Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk’s Boring Company wants to dig a tunnel to Dodger Stadium

Elon Musk's Boring Company wants to build a high-speed transportation tunnel connecting Dodger Stadium to a nearby Metro station. The system would run 150-mph passenger pods between the stadium and a terminus to the west.
Emerging Tech

Watch as a ‘lifeguard drone’ rescues a swimmer struggling at sea

These days, drones are finding a range of roles in a myriad of fields. Lifeguards, for example, are making use of the drone's ability to quickly deploy flotation devices while also offering an eye in the sky to survey the scene.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? Here are the best drones on the market right now

To help you navigate the increasingly large and ever-changing landscape of consumer UAVs, here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.