3D Printed Food Futures

By on December 29th, 2010 in Ideas


We’ve been thinking some more about 3D printed food after yesterday’s post, and wondered what the future might look like if reasonably capable food printers really existed. Here’s some thoughts:
  • If they were low cost, we’d find them in most kitchens and restaurants. Why not? People pay huge sums for fancy ovens and other kitchen appliances; a food printer could become as common as a microwave oven or rice cooker.
  • Food printers could, theoretically, print identical “results”, erm, “food dishes you can eat”, if they had access to the same raw materials and 3D food designs. 
  • This means that restaurants and home kitchens could produce amazing food items, so long as they had the right designs and feedstocks (foodstocks?)
  • While access to raw material foodstocks is probably a commodity business, food designs won’t be. They will be carefully crafted works of art – that you can eat!
  • Chef training may include 3D CAD skills to ensure students can produce suitable designs. 
  • We suspect competition will erupt in food design, with proprietary and open source food recipes, perhaps with “Food Labels” signing promising food designers to their group.
  • Online services will sell access to the most popular food designs, perhaps leading to weekly “top ten lists”, just like other digital media. There may even be celebrity “Rock Star 3D chef designers” and their fans, who eagerly await their next release.  
Could 3D Food be one of the biggest industries in the 21st century? 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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