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Fast food for the digital age: Meals are 3D-printed/from Springwise of course

07 Nov

Two new startups could help bring individual customization to the mass production of meals with 3D printed food.

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The 20th century ushered in the age of mass produced food, which — for better or worse — has fed the population with an endless array of new dishes and delicacies. The 21st century food industry may come to be about the individual customization with 3D printed food, however, if two new startups get their way.

Headed by Hod Lipson and Jeffrey Lipton, the Cornell Creative Machines Lab (CCML) is a part of Cornell University researching 3D printing. Having already worked with theInternational Culinary Center, its prototypes can create scallop nuggets in novelty shapes, cakes with messages printed inside, noodles and hamburger patties. The devices currently take liquid and paste foodstuffs such as melted chocolate, dough and pureed goods, which can be used much like the plastic in typical 3D printers.

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Barcelona-based Natural Machines (above) is another startup moving the world of catering into 3D printed territory. According to the Wall Street Journal, the startup uses precise piping directed by digital designs to create pastas, breads and food decorations. It is already in the process of developing a printer for market, which it hopes to retail for EUR 1,000. Connected to the web, users will be able to download recipes and designs, as well as tweet their latest creations.

While regular readers of Springwise may remember Japan-based FabCafe‘s 3D-printed Valentine’s Day jelly sweets, both the research by CCML and Natural Machines could bring the production of digitally-designed meals out of science fiction and into reality. Could your business benefit from the convenience of 3D food printing?

Website: www.creativemachines.cornell.edu / www.naturalmachines.com

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