We've just been informed that CNN has a piece focused on 3D food printing. Reporter Laurie Segall interviews French Culinary Institute Chef David Arnold, who's been experimenting with a Fab@Home printer, specially modified for printing food items. Not yet any food ingredients, but "any form of paste" as Arnold explains. Arnold says they've experimented with cake frosting, icing, cookie dough, masa (tortilla flour mix). Arnold says:
Anything that requires a high level of precision that people don't usually have with their hands in terms of making icing or decorations, this thing can perform amazingly well and have good repetition for small runs, like in your house.
Also interviewed was Jamil Yosefzai, founder of Essential Systems, who apparently are commercializing this device based on Fab@Home development. They want to bring the 3D Food Printer to market for USD$1000 and eventually lower the price to only USD$700. We're going to start tracking this - this will be a very hot seller if they can manage to produce a reliable and usable device with an appropriate ecosystem to match.
Jeffrey Lipton, lead of the Fab@Home project also appears. Lipton has been working on food printing concepts for some time now in conjunction with professional chefs, and now it has sufficiently progressed to be shown to the world. He says:
It allows you to inject skill into the process. I may not be the best frosting maker in the world, but with a 3D (food) printer I can lay my food down and get beautiful artwork out.
This is because, of course, a 3D food model is driving the "food preparation" stage - putting a previously manual operation under precise mechanical control. Complex 3D food designs could theoretically be prepared by anyone with this type of device, so long as they have the recipe (3D food model) and the right ingredients.
The concept is breathtaking; food becomes art. Want!