Food for Thought: Could 3D Printing Help with Thanksgiving?

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The holiday season has officially begun, and many are beginning to prepare for guests to warm their homes and spectacular spreads of holiday treats, and oh—the turkey feast! But with much anticipation, there is always the panic of preparation. Need a helping hand in the kitchen? 3D printing has found new innovative ways to make food preparation and the culinary experience even more fun and exciting.

Handiest Holiday Helper

Many find that the endless amounts of peeling, chopping, and assembling fresh food-for-thought-could-3d-printing-help-with-thanksgiving2fruits and vegetables is the most tedious task when planning meals. Natural Machines is working on a solution with the Foodini. Imagine having one or multiple mini 3D printers in your workstation to print and assemble your meals for you. All you have to do is place your fresh ingredients into the capsules and your meal is ready to start printing. The Foodini is described as a kitchen appliance, so although it won’t cook the food for you, (they’re working on that), it will eliminate the need for assembly on the user’s end and can print multi-layer foods like pizza, or tedious pastas like homemade ravioli.

While Natural Machines is still working on the development of the Foodini, their goal when it hits the market is that it will promote healthier living by allowing users to create home cooked meals without having to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Best at Breakfast

Even though breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Thanksgiving morning leaves no rest for the weary. When you’ve got a lot on your plate, preparing breakfast often gets put on the backburner. PancakeBot is a 3D printer that prints an array of different pancakes directly on the griddle to get you fueled up and ready to go. PancakeBot prints non-traditional pancakes that can be chosen from an online catalog or if you’re feeling artistic, you can update your own designs and ideas from an SD card.

PancakeBot was invented by Miguel Valenzuela, after coming up with the idea of building a pancake machine out of LEGOs for his young children. Many of the designs in the catalog are of animals and other friendly creatures that will make breakfast time fun and exciting for your little ones. Available online, PancakeBot also has an active community of users sharing their ideas, experiences, and designs.

Decadence for Dining Out

A restaurant named Food Ink, is putting lavish and luxury into 3D printed food. Food Ink describes their 3D printing restaurant as “...a conceptual pop-up dinner series where fine cuisine meets art, philosophy and tomorrow's technologies.” They focus on being Eclectic by bringing in talent from all trades, Futuristic by using virtual reality and other innovative technology to evolve, and Creative by constantly thinking of new ideas to flourish in the future.

When dining at Food Ink, visitors can expect more than just a 3D printed meal, all the furniture and utensils have also been 3D printed. So where will Food Ink pop up next? Dates haven’t been released yet, but their world tour starts in Berlin and ends in Sydney. United States residents can expect to get a taste in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Austin, and New York City. Their YouTube video offers a unique insight into what to expect at their events if you’re not lucky enough to reserve a seat.

Do you have an idea but aren’t quite sure where to get started? Concepts can be printed with a table-top machine, like the MakerBot, to get your ideas started and bring a design to life. As we’ve seen above, the future of 3D printed food is going to change our future, aid in healthy meals, and get our creative juices flowing.

Bon Apetite! Happy Thanksgiving from Fisher Unitech.

About the Author

Angelle Erickson writes about how companies are using innovative technologies, such as 3D printers and SOLIDWORKS software to increase productivity, improve product development processes, and maximize business potential.

Images courtesy of Natural Machines.