After a long day’s work, the last thing one wants to do is prepare a meal, well, how about just printing one? The Barcelona-based startup ‘Natural Machines’ has introduced a 3D printer for food. Yup that right, with this latest kitchen bad-boy you can actually print your own meals!
Dubbed ‘Foodini’, this new-age kitchen gadget isn’t too different from regular 3D printers. Instead of printing with plastics, the ‘Foodini’ uses real food ingredients squeezed out of small stainless steel capsules to create edible products. The insta-oven takes a page right out of Hanna-Barbera’s classic cartoon ‘The Jetsons’, in which the family’s meals instantly appear at the push of a button.
“It’s the same technology” as regular 3D printers, Natural Machines co-founder Lynette Kucsma told CNN. “But with plastics there’s just one melting point, whereas with food it’s different temperatures, consistencies, and textures. Also, gravity works a little bit against us, as food doesn’t hold the shape as well as plastic.”
Introduced at the Web Summit Technology conference in Dublin, the Foodini serves as a mini food manufacturing plant, which can print a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory. “In essence, this is a mini food manufacturing plant shrunk down to the size of an oven” Kucsma stated. Initially, the printer will target mostly professional kitchen users, with a consumer version to follow at a projected price of about $1,000.
While the printing is slow, it is still faster than regular 3D printing. Besides being capable of creating complex designs, such as intricate dessert decorations or food prepared in unusual shapes, the ‘Foodini’ can be useful for recipes that require exactness and handiness, such as homemade pizza or even ravioli.
Natural Machines states its printers will utilize the freshest ingredients, and is also working with major food manufacturers to create pre-packaged plastic capsules that can just be loaded into the machine to make food – which will be assuredly preservative free, and have shelf life limited to five days.
“The food is real food, made from fresh ingredients prepared before printing,” the company says. “Promoting cooking with fresh ingredients, Foodini manages the difficult and time-consuming parts of food preparation that often discourage people from creating homemade food.”
Although meals printed by the ‘Foodini’ will have to be cooked or broiled before consuming, the appliance ought to shave precious minutes off the difficult and time-consuming process of preparing food. The company plans to begin mass manufacturing soon. Be ready to warm up your baking mitts by the second half of 2015!