Saturday, May 25, 2013

NASA Funds 3D Food Printer, For Printed Pizzas

NASA Funds 3D Food Printer, For Printed Pizzas: [Click here to view the video in this article]

In the wake of news about 3D gun printing, it is nice to know that NASA is funding research into the advancement of 3D-printed food.

Anjan Contractor—who works as a mechanical engineer for Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC)—recently received a US$125,000 grant from NASA to create a universal food synthesizer prototype.

The primary aim of this research is come up with a viable way to supply astronauts with adequate nutrition while they are up in space—especially during long-distance space travel.

The 3D food printer would be supplied with the basic “building blocks” of food, like sugars, complex carbohydrates, or protein, by replaceable powder cartridges. Similar to how ink printers work, the food synthesizer will combine each block to create a wide range of foods.

It turns out that Contractor is not just an engineer working towards the completion of a commissioned project. He's also a man with big heart. He has expressed his hope that the invention would (someday) help alleviate hunger and help feed the world's 12 billion people, by providing them with “customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time”.

The realization of Contractor's vision would entail the end of food waste, due to the fact that the food printer runs on powder that has a shelf-life of up to 30 years.

At present, Contractor's food printer has been able to print chocolate. The printing of Pizza is next on his list.

Have a look at the videos below to find out more:

How 3D Food Printing Works

Chocolate Printing Trial

Are you hungry for a 3D food printer, yet?

[via Quartz and NASA, images via TNO Research and Anjan Contractor]