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3D Printed Cheesecake Not Quite Food Replicator Quality

Do you think that this 3D printed cheesecake is in the same general class of food produced by a Star Trek food replicator? Maybe not quite. But read the tasty quote below for delicious tips.

(Nutella, peanut butter, graham cracker, and strawberry frosting all contributed to the futuristic dessert)

After seven design iterations, we successfully assembled and selectively cooked a seven-ingredient confectionery dessert entirely using software (i.e. without user intervention). Through this iterative design process we found that food materials need to be classified as “structural” or “filler” ingredients based on viscoelastic properties, such that they can be more accurately placed within a design model to eliminate failures due to printing. These findings seem to match conventional intuition for conventionally assembled meals as well; cakes and layered foods tend to have more liquid fillers either atop or nestled within more structural grain-based ingredients (e.g. apple pie, cupcakes, and cheesecake).

With each successive print, our model needed to incorporate more structural ingredients to minimize print failures... More structural ingredients such as graham cracker ended up becoming a foundational ingredient for each layer of the assembly while peanut butter and Nutella would act as supporting layers for less structural ingredients. The design of our print became similar to constructing a home where floors, walls, and ceilings being the foundation (graham cracker) and inner pools (Nutella and peanut butter) holding softer ingredients within (banana and jelly). Moreover, ingredients that exhibit a higher extrusion multiplier—the flow rate of an ingredient—also tend to be more viscous and make up a larger part of the final printed product.

(Via The future of software-controlled cooking)

Not quite Star Trek replicator quality, but better than SmoothFood, a 2014 technology that printed pureed food into pleasing shapes, for use in nursing homes (see 3D Printed Food Served In German Nursing Homes for more details.


(Star Trek food replicator)

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