David Papp Blog

3D printing makes its way to the culinary world

Companies are finding more and more ways to harness the power of 3D printing technology. At CES 2015, XYZPrinting, the company who also made the Da Vinci AiO 3D printer, introduced a 3D printer that makes use of flour and chocolate as “ink,” which you can then turn into pastries, cookies, cake decorations, and more (you still have to bake them).

The three-chambered food printer is more or less the same size as an all-in-one printer. It prints out food in layers, with a maximum size of 7.8″ by 5.9″ by 5.9″. According to company representatives, the printer can currently produce one object at a time, which means you’ll have to print out cook-able objects one by one, before you can bake an entire batch in the oven (or maybe cut it into pieces).

Preset 3D designs are selected on the machine’s 5″ touch screen. New designs will be available on XYZPrinting’s cloud-based service, which you can download directly to the printer. Users can also download compatible 3D files from the Internet, or upload their own designs to the printer by using a USB drive. The company says the system will be extremely user-friendly, and will come with one-touch functionality.

For now, the printer is only limited to creating pastries only, but rumour has it that their next plan is to use the technology to make pizzas. I’m guessing their future pizza printer will be able to print out the dough, and add on layers of sauce, cheese, and other toppings, which you’ll then need to cook in an oven, much like the printer they demoed at CES.

XYZPrinting’s food printer will be available during the second quarter of 2015, with a price that will likely cost somewhere around $2000.

21 thoughts on “3D printing makes its way to the culinary world”

  1. Very exciting new technology! We are now one step closer to having the food stations as seen in Star Trek. Personally, this is a very interesting concept for me and I feel that the applications and business opportunities for this would be endless. think of these things on vending machines and hotel rooms.

  2. $2000 for a pastry printer sounds like a great deal if it works well, considering this is relatively new tech. People will flock to it just for the novelty I think.

  3. Wow, what a crazy idea! It’s great to see just how much 3D printers can actually do though and it won’t be long before they become an important part of many comapnies maufacturing processes.

  4. This is a great new application of 3D printing technology. A lot of focus right now goes towards using this technology towards medical related uses, but we commonly forget the application in areas like cooking that are just as useful. It will be very cool to see how they expand this to create different food items.

    • My only worry would be… how healthy and safe are those? I just can’t imagine how this kind of technology works! Wish there was an article about that! Not sure I’d feel so safe eating something that came from a 3D printer, unless I knew how it really works!

      • Me neither. I note that nobody is really talking about the nutritional content of this food or it’s ingredients so I’m assuming that it’s all stuff that has to be specially treated for use with the printer. That suggests it could be full of all sorts of over-processed nasties.

  5. 3D printing is the best thing that happened to technology this decade. It takes an unique and futuristic type of thinking to be able to develop a project like this.
    I think that we will see 3D printers in every household in the next couple of years.

  6. I’ve never actually thought about 3D printing for other things outside of medical uses.
    Although, I’m not entirely sure what 3D printing is or how we use it. It just seems like witchcraft to me. Soon we’ll just be 3D printing everything instead of manufacturing things, unless I’ve gotten the role of 3D printing wrong..

    • I once had a dream of 3D printing a 3D printer. If that will be possible, well, that’s the flaw in the system, buddy! On the other hand, when I’ve first heard about 3D printing all that was going trough my head was not by any chance related to food of any kind! Seeing this blows my mind, we’ve truly advanced technology wise.

  7. Wow, I just can’t believe what i just read! I must admit I can’t even begin to imagine how this kind of technology works! It’s amazing! I’d love to learn more about the way this kind of new printers work and how they can print out food! This sounds like something taken out from one of those futuristic show that seemed kinda silly. But this goes to show they weren’t that silly! Totally mind blown! Officially!

  8. While I am pretty apprehensive about this I think the concept would work great for cake decorating. To be able to “print” multiple decorations to be used on cakes could be very time saving. I’m not too sure about the idea of “printing” pastry’s…and am I the only one who can’t wrap their mind around the term of printing in situations like this? I feel like it should almost be called….machining, or automating. For some reason I can’t get the image of my brother printer out of my mind.

    The ideas are limitless. I can’t wait to be able to see things first hand that are made from 3d Printers like this.

    • I tdoes seem a little odd doesn;t it. I expect you’d have to have some sort of mixture made up to feed into the printer, then let it do it’s thing. Thinking about it, if you need to do all the mixing yourself, it might even be quicker to make certain things by hand.

  9. I saw XYZ’s food printer at CES2015. I believe their product could produce pancake, waffles and pizza? Or it’s some other company’s. Nevertheless, 2015’s innovative technology has taken another step. Some 3DPrinters can now print components which are able to be constructed into guns which is quite confronting.

  10. W.o.w!
    I have long maintained that 3D printing is the future of factories, but printing food is taking this to a whole new level.
    The impact is mind boggling. You could just take the ingredients and print things you want in a space ship. There will be no more of “only my wife knows how to cook Chinese”. And, forget about mindless cooking for hours (yep, I said it!).

    3D printing as the next effective delivery guy without the fuss, without the need for 30 minutes, and without any anxiety of cold food reaching you – now that is levelling up on innovation.

  11. I love seeing something go from Science Fiction to actual fact like this. Not so many years ago, I recall reading about these and the theories being that they were many years away. Now they’re not only here, they’re actually starting to make our lives better.

    I imagine that in time, as the prices come down, that these printers could very well help people in real food need benefiting greatly from a tool like this.

  12. A $2000 pastries machine where I have to do the baking? I might be incredibly lazy and fondly in love with pastries but I’m not even thinking about buying this unless it’s either cheap or can make more food. This a wet dream for me if I could buy it.

  13. I think that’s really great. I’ve always loved the concept of 3D printing and to see it improving is really awesome. I remember using one of the expensive 3D printing machines at school when we would learn about 3D modelling and objects through a computer, I think it’s very beneficial to society and I’m looking forward to seeing the “food printer” and hopefully it works out, surely it will be a great hit on the market and quite an unusual invention, who would of thought movies and imaginations are becoming more real in this day and age, it just makes me in awe at what people can do and how creative they can be.

  14. Oh, I would love to try this out. Though I wonder about the safety, same as I do with 3D printing of cosmetics. I do like the idea of using the concept for cake decorations, as a previous commenter pointed out. Definitely a creative, potentially useful application for 3D printing, can’t wait to see how it all develops.

  15. I don’t think that we’ll actually be able to 3D print all types of food, at least not soon enough. We’re only able to 3D print basic stuff like pastries, but think of a future where we could 3D print vegetables at an atomic level and use them to simply cook our meal. Or imagine 3D printing an entire cheeseburger right in your kitchen. That would be a great future, wouldn’t it? We’re still far from that, though, but hey! The 3D printing has just come around!

  16. This is really cool! 🙂 it’s a shame that we still have to bake the printed food, lol, it will be good if the food were just ready at that moment, that would save us some time and it will be a good thing for some of us who don’t really know how to cook.
    It’s a new idea and to be honest, it’s still hard to process for me, but I’m looking forward to see how this technology will be more and more accessible and less strange for some of us.

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