3D Printing Dinner

Would you consider 3D printing your dinner? Houston inventor Anjan Contractor pizza, chocolate, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls in minutes. He envisions a day when 3-D printers are typical kitchen appliances, along with microwaves and refrigerators.

(Anjan Contractor 3D food printer)

“Many people ask me, ‘Can you eat this?’ ” he said. “It’s no different than a robot making food.”

Contractor has been working on 3-D printers for years, playing with air pressure levels and sometimes spraying liquid chocolate all over his house. He won a $125,000 grant from NASA in 2012 after developing a 3-D printer that turned dehydrated food particles into food with flavor and texture. The printer may be used to feed astronauts who go on deep-space missions, such as Mars.

His company is called BeeHex, a name inspired by nature’s 3-D printers – bees that make their hives layer by layer.

His 3-D printer uses air pressure to push three ingredients (such as dough, cheese and tomato sauce) though narrow nozzles and create food layer by layer. The food must be cooked in an oven after it’s printed, but Contractor is working on a printer that would create the food and bake it.

Fans of sf great Larry Niven might be thinking of his food bricks from his 1970 novel Ringworld. Philip K. Dick fans might recall his autonomous food processing system from his 1964 novel Cantata 140.

Take a look at my earlier article Fictional Foodstuffs: The Snacks Of Science Fiction for some of the great science-fictional food processors. I'll leave you with this one that is familiar to most of us.

(Star Trek food synthesizer)

Also, don't miss my 2006 story which has one of my favorite headlines "Hungry? Print Yourself Some Bacon".

Via Herald Online.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/11/2016)

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