ITS 230 Final Project


3D Food Printing


Hi my presentation is on 3D food printing. 

We know 3D printing has been around for a long time now and has proven to be useful in many applications.   It is used to create everything from fashion accessories, shoes, mechanical parts and even human organs structured with the patient’s own cells to create the needed organs for transplant.   The 3D printer has even printed its first tool in the space station. 

So naturally why wouldn’t someone eventually ask, hmmm… what about printing food?  Maybe the astronauts wouldn’t mind a change in their food process.   Better yet, let’s just skip to the food replicator like in Star Trek.  It’s quick and simple even if you have to be precise with your order.  Ok so it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

But the next step forward is a 3D food printer.  Chocolate has been used with a 3D printer for quite a while now and makes for some creative and edible shapes.  Right now the ingredients for 3D food printing is somewhat limited and it is either ingredients that requires cooking or processed ingredients that do not require additional cooking.  So it is not instantaneous and still requires some form of cooking or baking.

Natural Machines, the makers of Foodini developed their 3D food printer in the concept that it would be used and look like a kitchen appliance.  When you look at most processed foods, say like pasta or crackers and bread, it is essentially made by industrial machines.  With Foodini it puts the manufacturing right in your kitchen.   Only on a smaller scale and you can chose the shape and form of the food processed.  That is putting your creative presentation to the food you prepare.

“Foodini is a connected device, meaning it's connected to the Internet. It has a built in touch screen on the front that provides the user interface for printing food. Once the user chooses the recipe they want to print (from the onboard touchscreen, or from a user's tablet, laptop, etc.), Foodini will instruct what food to put in each capsule, and then printing can begin.”1

 You can put in five stainless steel capsules that can be heated so users can print their foods using multiple ingredients and at different temperatures.  Which means ingredients that do not need cooking can be ready to eat after printing.  This can be mashed foods like potatoes.

What about foods that needs to be cooked.  Say hamburgers and pizzas.  Well for earthlings you can find a hamburger or pizza restaurant just about anywhere but say you really wanting a pizza at midnight in the North Pole or somewhere in a very remote location or maybe Mars.  The Foodini would probably make an ideal useful appliance.

You are probably thinking about the taste.  Well we know not everything taste like it looks.  For now, it’s probably a tradeoff between looks and taste.  But if you can’t even get these food items, then printing them will probably taste just fine.  The meals could also be enriched and tailored to individual dietary needs or portions.  

Currently the makers are working to enable Foodini to cook food in addition to printing them.  So for now, Foodini has involved only a few select clients to be their testers which will help them with the overall development of the product.

The issue of taste may be a tricky but hey, there are bound to be other problems in the future, say a malfunction with the replicator.  In the future, maybe the Foodini will be an emergency backup.  Now that’s food for thought.


1. Natural machines, makers of Foodini.

Miller, Alicia. (July 20, 2016). “The future is Foodini: An interview with Natural Machines”. 3D Printing Industry.

“The Voice of 3D Printing Technologies”.

 Chowdhry, Amit. (Oct. 8, 2013). What Can 3D Printing Do? Forbes.