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3D Printers Create Edible Objects

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the I'll-gladly-ay-you-tuesday-for-a-printed-cheeseburger-today dept.

Idle 72

MrShaggy writes "An engineering lab and a culinary school have teamed up to construct novel edible objects with 3D printers that use pureed foods in place of ink. From the article: '"It lets you do complex geometries with food that you could never do by hand," said Jeffrey Lipton, a researcher and graduate student at the lab. "So far, we've printed everything from chocolate, cheese and hummus to scallops, turkey, and celery," Lipton told CBC Radio's Spark in an interview that aired Sunday.'"

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72 comments

Quick ! quick !!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412942)

Someone go patent some shit about the .. well, something that occurs somewhere among the process of creating small spaceship-like or donkey-dung like 3d printed snacks or something.

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413072)

Can it print using tiger blood? Because that would be pure winning, assuming you were some sort of Vatican assassin warlock.

Re:Quick ! quick !!! (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413324)

I told my brother I was building a 3D printer and eventually I would get a 3D scanner, Basically making a 3D copy machine...

His first question was: Can I copy my junk?

Re:Quick ! quick !!! (4, Funny)

Tawnos (1030370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413354)

Your response, was, I hope, "sorry, we can't make out details that small yet"

Re:Quick ! quick !!! (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422800)

If you look back, people had a FIT over photocopiers at the time, book publishers mainly. Just imagine what will happen when material printers start becoming practical?

Good for space travel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413024)

This would be good for deep space travel, where you could just bring along big vats of nutrient goo and print out a different meal every night.

Re:Good for space travel. (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413110)

Or better yet, just send an unmanned probe with the printer to the destination. Then print out all the passengers.

Re:Good for space travel. (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413792)

Or better yet, just send an unmanned probe with the printer to the destination. Then print out all the passengers.

Your idea only works if the destination of the probe is the planet the aliens came from in "To Serve Man", and it only helps them, not us.

Re:Good for space travel. (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414176)

It helps us if they realise they can just print out their food, then they don't have to come here and eat us

Re:Good for space travel. (1)

Guru2Newbie (536637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415230)

And after traveling several hundred light-years, the printer powers up, starts the warming cycle, loads the buffer with the first person, and promptly...jams.

Printing out people (3, Interesting)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414898)

Okay, for this to be a reality, we need to get 3-D printing down to at least the cellular, if not molecular, level. (Would quantum uncertainty effects render this impossible?) But this is a nice idea, cleverer than the idea of a Star Trek style transporter [wikipedia.org]. It would be the 3-D equivalent of faxing a letter. Unlike "beaming", 3-D "faxing" does not imply the destruction and subsequent recreation of the original. A 3-D fax produces copies.

This raises a moral dilemma. If I fax myself, let's say, to Alpha Centauri, who then is the real Me, the spaceman or the one who stayed behind? Do I have the right to kill(switch) my other self (the one who stayed behind)? Would I be guilty of murder? Would it even count as suicide? Or could it simply be a form of hi-tech amputation or surgery, getting rid of an unnecessary body (part)?

Re:Printing out people (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417598)

There was The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits (new series, dont remember which one tho) episode about this. About a guy whose job was to operate the "transporter". Transporter was actually making copies and mans duty was to push a button destroying the original, but only after getting confirmation that the copy was successfully reassembled at the destination. One day transporter malfunctions, confirmation doesnt come, man doesnt kill a woman transported. While they wait he gets to know her better. Later confirmation comes that the copy was reassembled and he has to destroy the original. Big moral dilemma, kill the woman or let her live and upset the Aliens that are overseeing whole thing and destroy any hope of human kind to know aliens better.

That was one of my fav episodes, next to the one with big spaceships that each had one human on board taking care of them.

Re:Printing out people (1)

drjoe1e6 (461358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417792)

This idea was central to the plot of Think Like a Dinosaur, by James Patrick Kelly. Great story.

Re:Printing out people (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#35419316)

Yep, and incidentally, this is exactly what I envisioned 25ish years ago when running a Traveller game (RPG) - a molecular level 3D printer. Basically the replicator in Star Trek TNG [wikipedia.org] only it didn't cook the food (actually, the ones in my game doubled as microwave ovens, but most food still needed to be prepared). The 3D printer I had read about took a day or more, but to be more realistic in sci-fi I decided it took "about 10 minutes," so Star Trek was a bit more progressive. The idea of molecular assemblers [wikipedia.org] dates at least to 1987 (ST:TNG), but likely pre-dates that (as I said, I had the idea from reading about 3D printers, not Star Trek, and scripts for ST:TNG probably pre-date the show or about when I ran that game). 3D printers were first patented in the late 1970s and commercialized in the mid-1980s.

Re:Good for space travel. (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413240)

Does the shape of the food really matter? I think the texture is a far bigger deal.
No matter what shape you put it in ground meat will never make a real steak, no matter what you do with ground carrot you will never have carrot sticks.

Re:Good for space travel. (3, Funny)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415708)

Does the shape of the food really matter?

I take it you've never had kids.

Mine aren't quite at that age, yet, but I fondly remember bothering my mother to color and cut me pancakes in this-and-that shape of the ASCII characters used in the Rogue tileset, morning after Kindergarten morning.

Re:Good for space travel. (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416438)

Does the shape of the food really matter? I think the texture is a far bigger deal.

Sometimes, yes. I considered building one of these myself; I believe the reprap design is able to print in sugar paste and/or chocolate, which could be useful for cake decoration. Note that people pay serious money for customised wedding cakes.

Re:Good for space travel. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426242)

Sometimes, yes. I considered building one of these myself; I believe the reprap design is able to print in sugar paste and/or chocolate, which could be useful for cake decoration. Note that people pay serious money for customised wedding cakes.

Agreed, we had this discussion at our LUG demo of a rep-rap. We were all too lazy to attack the market, but kudos to he who first prints realistic his/her cake toppers.

Nerds building food.. (2)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413026)

Nerd: feel like a.. chocolate cheeseburger? *snort* Girl: what do you mean Nerd: it's a cheeseburger, made of chocolate *chuckles* Girl: why is that funny? Nerd: it's- Girl: OK, I'm leaving

What's Wrong with Old Media (1)

uncadonna (85026) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413056)

Somebody invents a 3D food printer and we get **AUDIO**? Isn't that sort of the wrong way to convey this information?

Just what we've been waiting for (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413090)

Sounds perfect for the production of rude food!

Re:Just what we've been waiting for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35419614)

Such as a turnip shaped like a thingy?

Finally, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413228)

Chicken nuggets that look like Chickens.

Re:Finally, (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413272)

Now I am really going to blow you bong water drinking mind, debone a whole chicken as you would for a turducken then bread and fry it whole. A giant chicken nugget that is a chicken!

Re:Finally, (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415654)

Been there, done that.

The best way I've found to make Turduckhen is to fry each bird seperatly before stuffing them into the next raw bird. Obviously you need to reach sterilization temp after the last stuffing.

I don't do Turduckhen anymore though. Duckhen is much much better and simpler. The turkey is just a useless addition to a perfect recipe.

Re:Finally, (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35420382)

Chicken nuggets that look like Chickens.

But why 3-D print Chicken Nuggets when the current process of pressing them in molds works perfectly well?

Shades of Star Trek! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413282)

Something like the food replicators on Star Trek? Punch in what you want, and it prints out the thing itself... :Kewl! :-)

This isn't the first... (2)

pantherace (165052) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413370)

There was one done quite a bit ago that used sugar as the print material. Wasn't very high resolution, but it worked, and could be eaten. Also, I've heard of Rep-raps using chocolate (and other substances) in the past.

This also doesn't appear very high resolution, so I'm failing to see what about this is first or even particularly novel about it. The only first I see is the specific things they used.

Ah, indeed, I have found a link: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/candyfab [evilmadscientist.com]

Re:This isn't the first... (1)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413774)

The only first I see is the specific things they used

Exactly -- they're making spaceships out of cheese, what's not awesome about that?

(And even if not particularly newsy, it is at least a lot more nerdy than most other front page stories :P)

Re:This isn't the first... (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414356)

Not even close to first. I used an SLA-190 to make complicated molds for chocolates in 1994. And probably not the first. I would be shocked if someone didn't use an SLS system to directly make complex shapes out of food around the same time or before.

My biggest complaint with today's homebrew rapid prototyping is the poor resolution. Pitiful even by standards 20 years ago.

Refills (3, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413372)

You could print up stuff using caviar and Kobe beef and it'd still be cheaper than ink refills.

Re:Refills (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413730)

Hell, it could be human blood and it would still be cheaper than HP Black ink #49...

Re:Refills (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415422)

Hell, it could be human blood and it would still be cheaper than HP Black ink #49...

I've actually heard that #49 is manufactured using truffle oil.

Re:Refills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417394)

I heard it was unicorn blood mixed with dust from the holy grail by Mississippi virgins using an unobtanium stirrer stolen from Area 51.

Tools have usage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413618)

Are we going to hear about every single object that can be printed 3D? The same way we heard of every company that had a twitter account in the beginning, or now everytime something happens by interacting on facebook?

I see .... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413632)

... graphics printed on wedding cakes. Or even complex 3D decorations as a business model real soon now.

Re:I see .... (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415546)

We've had photo cakes for a while now. An image is printed onto a thin sugar/cornstarch icing "paper" using an inkjet printer loaded with food coloring. This is then placed on top of the cake. You can get food coloring cartridges for some Canon and Epson inkjet printers.
http://www.icingimages.com/info.php [icingimages.com]
http://www.photofrost.com/ [photofrost.com]

The future: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413676)

A kitchen conversation in a few years:

"Mom! I'm hungry!"

"You know how to print a double cheeseburger yourself, young man."

Re:The future: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417224)

Obligatory Neal Stevenson reference.

His novel The Diamond Age included "matter compilers" which can build objects from their constituent molecules. I remember particularly enjoying a scene where Nell learns how to compile her own food by working out what the mediaglyphs (animated icons) mean.

I prefer the old way.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414082)

When food didn't have the texture of crap.

ObSunny (1)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414216)

"Go download me a hoagie from the Internet!"

Re:ObSunny (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414618)

Oh great. Now we're going to have Subway and McDonald's complaining about Internet pirates offering subs and cheeseburgers for free download which costs them sales. Then KFC will declare that Open Source Fried chicken is a copyright violation of their Original Recipe and they have proof (which will only be seen at trial and which will eventually be revealed to be similar ingredients like "chicken" and "breadcrumbs").

Tea. (2)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414528)

Tea. Earl grey. Hot.

Re:Tea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417230)

make it so

3D copying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417756)

I wonder when a proper 3D copier will be on the market. Apart from any really useful application, putting one's behind on/in a copier then suddenly gets a whole new dimension, especially if the result is edible too... ;)

Not another gadget (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417824)

... to stick in the kitchen. Though, I might be able to replace the food processor with one of these.

printed a heart (1)

splatter (39844) | more than 3 years ago | (#35418746)

I swear I saw a story the other night that they printed out a heart. I was only half paying attention and had a few drinks so I just kind of shook it off like I must have missed something. Turns out they didn't just print them out but the thing beats.... eeerry
OB " ITS ALIVE!!!!!!! MUHAHAHAHAHA"

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/11/printed-heart-c/ [wired.com]

"Organ ‘Printing’ Creates Beating Heart Cells"
"A Missouri professor took several types of chicken heart cells and 3D printed them into large sheets with cell-friendly gel. The cells took over from there, sorting themselves into working order. Then they began beating, just as a heart would."

Cartoon character cakes (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35419128)

Shaped like real cartoon characters!

"Timmy, do you want Mickey's arm or his leg?"

Vegan Bacon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423184)

Finally, we could grind up bacon and make carrots!

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