3D-printed food hasn’t gone much further than chocolate, but a Barcelona-based startup called Natural Machines is working on a 3D printer that will be able to produce pasta, bread, and other food item that starts out as a dough, paste or stiff liquid. The breakthrough could be the start of a new era for 3D printing and the possible foods it can produce.
Unlike other 3-D printers, the startup’s device can print using six different materials instead of just one, which allows much more complicated foods to be made. There is even a heater built in to the printer which keeps the food warm during the printing process.
The idea behind the invention is that foodie geeks will be able to set the machine up before they go to work, and have their foodstuff of choice ready for when they get home. More ambitious plans also include meals that can be made with ingredients from specialist food stores, which is why the company is working with chefs to try and figure what will work with the machine.
Natural Machines’ 3D printer will also be internet-enabled, allowing it to connect with various social media platforms. This feature would make it easier to let others know what new and exciting meal you have managed to make with the machine, as well as share recipes with those who also own the machine.
Apart from 3D-printing-enthusiasts, the company thinks the machine – which will retail for around €1,000 ($1,366) – could also be a hit with professional chefs. It’s faster than making something by hand, which means more time in the kitchen to focus on complicated dishes and perfecting presentation.
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