Project 2: 3D Printing Food

introducing infomercial-screen1

What if everyday food was created using a 3D printer? I sought to explore this idea after reading about food printers and food CNC machines being produced today. Food printers today create masterpieces out of chocolate, dough, and other foods that can be easily extruded/piped. They exist for hobbyists who want to create complexly decorated cookies and intricate, custom designed cakes. Food CNC machines work in the same way, producing items such as the “perfect burrito” or an M&M cake mosaic.

What fascinates me more, however, are the companies seeking to create printers that can assemble and grow animal cells into food items such as a beef patty. In fact, a printer has been produced that can do so, but a burger made with this printer would cost well over $300,000 dollars. Animal cells have also been successfully grown to create strips of muscle, something akin to a steak but without the blood. These printers are marketed as more sustainable and animal friendly… People in the future might be able to eat meat without hurting a single animal… In fact, the people of the future may not even have to worry about greenhouse gases and other by-products of livestock production.

This video is a short infomercial for a cheap bottom-line household food printer. It’s nothing fancy or amazing… It’s a run-of-the-mill printer, something that a person might see on an advertisement and purchase at a big box superstore. In making the video I tried to touch lightly on a few subjects of interest such as:

  • What would a cheap food printer look like?
  • What type of people would use such an appliance?
  • What would cookbooks of the future be like?
  • What would you buy at the grocery store?
  • What would cooking classes be like?
  • What is gourmet cooking in the future?

There we have it. Enjoy my low-budget cheesy infomercial! P.S. It is an mp4, because for some reason I could not export a .mov

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Credits and Thanks:

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About yvonnehidle

Yvonne Hidle is a first year MTiD (Master of Tangible Interaction Design) student at Carnegie Mellon University. She has a background in architecture and is interested in the way people interact with the built environment, not only visually, but tactically, acoustically, and emotionally as well. She enjoys creating architectural environments that stimulate the user’s imagination and evoke a broad set of emotions. Yvonne has some Processing and Arduino experience, as well as familiarity with scripting languages such as PHP, CSS, and HTML.

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