Recent 3D printing Foodtech Innovations

Food tech is always my favourite type of tech. (Snack time is the only time 😋).

PST! Interested in food tech? You should come down to an exclusive future-of-food event in Amsterdam August 26–28 2019, hosted by Kind Earth Tech.

On top of recently getting addicted to TinkerCAD (3D design software) while on Vacation in Serbia (self-promo here;), I thought I’d nerd out to recent innovations in the printing food tech space.

The Era of Food Customization

With an exciting emerging technology, comes exciting snacks. 3D printing has already started to get in the hands of the world’s largest pasta company, a nasa spin-off startup and Hershey’s chocolate (along with many other chocolate companies)… i.e. what an exciting time for breakfast, lunch, dinner or desert?!

TL;DR — How it’ll work

3D printing is a technology that does 2D printing over and over again. It’s like stacking pancakes!

3D printing is also known for being able to make complex structures, like this chair:

We can use different types of 3D printers to create customizable food for everyone.

Before I get into the details about the printers used in the 3D-printed-foods niche, I’m going to showcase the applications/companies in the space🤗.

3D printing Protein

Ctrl-alt-meat… 3D printed steak… it’s happening. Italian researchers have done it. Nova Meat is printing micro-fibres that mimic meat, except they’re made from pea and seaweed proteins. Jet-eat is another company in the space.

If you’re new to our food crisis, the way we produce meat right now is 3% efficient. WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD WOULD BE ACCEPT A 3% EFFICIENT TECHNOLOGY. I hope you realize how insane this is! By 3D *bio*printing muscle-like tissue, we can replace the meat industry with a environmentally sexier solution😎.

3D printing Space Food

Systems & Materials Research Corporation

AstoGro: printing the next generation of space farming. They’re letting space travellers print their own farms, to grow food🤯.

Obviously, Nasa’s a big fan of saving space in their crafts — no more weird powdered ice cream! Beehex is printing pizza🍕.

We can even use this 3D printer, which prints itself, to supply food for the whole world. [From Space] TL;DR: applications are out of this world.

3D printed Snacks

Because 3D printers can create detail never before imaginable with a human’s hands, companies have been emerging left and right to hop on this trend.

byflow is printing literally every food you could think of; and they’re working on opening a restaurant. Oh, and they’ve got plates too.

There’s 3D printed fruit

3D printed restaurants and utensils

3D designer bar is completely 3D-printed, from its chairs to shot glasses. There are numerous companies working on additively manufacturing every step of your food indulging experience.

They could be the solution to scalable food alternatives, but printers can solve our manufacturing dilemmas.

The printer behind the foods.

Fused deposition modeling (FDM)

This one is like piping icing, but on steroids. FDMs pipe out material (say, chocolate) into the pre-programmed shape.

It’s literally like staking pancakes, just in a fancier shape. FDM is the most popular printer for bio-printing. (And will likely print your meals in the future).

Selective Laser Sintering

SLS uses a laser (woah, shocking!) to harden a liquid into the 3D printed shape. Think of a glass of water, imagine if you could individually turn certain water molecules into m&ms on demand. Using *magic* you can selectively transform water molecules into m&ms, and make fancy pictures!

SLS uses the same concept, but instead of magic it’s a laser, and instead of water, it’s a liquid material that when heated it turns solid (no m&ms 😥). Here’s a video if you’d like a less chocolate-y explanation.

This one’s create for detailed objects; and will make some nice looking cups for our kitchen.

Snack time = over.

Now I’m craving a stack of pancakes…

You’re probably hungry too. Hungry to taste the future ;)

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