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3D Printed Pizza: Print Your Dinner with Foodini

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 13 comments
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A pizza made with the Foodini 3D printer. Credit Natural MachinesA pizza made with the Foodini 3D printer. Credit Natural Machines

Food-based 3D printers have been around for a few years now. Who could forget, for example, the first commercial chocolate 3D printer, which arrived back in 2011?

The folks at Barcelona-based 3D printing startup Natural Machines weren't satisfied with merely chocolate. They wanted to 3D print a more balanced meal — say, a pizza.

Natural Machines' printer, the Foodini, uses the same techniques to arrange food that a 3D printer uses to make its creations. The food substance comes out of an extruder, or nozzle, that is attached to a motor. The nozzle extrudes food in a preprogrammed pattern, ensuring that pizzas, burgers, ravioli and other foods are even and perfectly formed.

MORE: 3D Printer Buyer's Guide 2013

The Foodini also serves as a high-tech decorating machine. The video shows how the device can be used to decorate cakes and other non-printed foods by extruding icing in a predesigned pattern.

"We're looking to go way beyond just chocolate … we're looking for everyday foods that you would eat," Natural Machines co-founder Lynete Kucsma told BBC News in a video interview.

3D Printed Pasta and Chocolate, credit BBC

The video shows how the Foodini can be used to make homemade ravioli without the time-consuming process of hand-wrapping the filling. Fill the printer's nozzle with pre-prepared pasta dough, send the printer the design you wish to use, and start it up.

However, because the printer can only print in one material at a time, you'll have to switch out the dough for cheese or another filling of your choice in order to continue the print.

And don't expect the Foodini to pop out fully cooked food. Although the printer's tray is heated to keep food fresh and pliable, it's not an oven, so maker/bakers will have to move their creations to an oven before the printings are ready to eat.

Natural Machines says the Foodini is currently in prototype; the device has a lot of exposed wires and looks more like what you'd find on an engineer's desk than on your average kitchen counter.

The finished product, which looks a bit like a miniature oven, is expected to go on sale this spring for 1,000 euro, or almost $1,400.

Email jscharr@techmedianetwork.com or follow her @JillScharr and Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Add your comment Display 13 Comments.
  • 6 Hide
    neieus , December 11, 2013 4:19 AM
    With all this 3D printer stuff going around it makes me wonder if we will one day have Star Trek like replicators. You may be laughing at me now but just think someone somewhere thought 3D printing would be a fantasy :) .
  • 0 Hide
    sincreator , December 11, 2013 4:49 AM
    I'm wondering how many jobs can/will be replaced by machines of this type...
  • -1 Hide
    sincreator , December 11, 2013 4:50 AM
    I'm wondering how many jobs can/will be replaced by machines of this type...
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , December 11, 2013 4:59 AM
    "so maker/bakers will have to move their creations to an oven before the printings are ready to eat."

    Cannot understand...
  • 0 Hide
    shafe88 , December 11, 2013 5:09 AM
    Basically, a cheap pastry and my own two hands can achieve the same thing.
  • 0 Hide
    shafe88 , December 11, 2013 5:09 AM
    Basically, a cheap pastry bag and my own two hands can achieve the same thing.
  • 1 Hide
    biohazrdfear , December 11, 2013 6:11 AM
    "Pretty pricey for a time saving device", is exactly what I was thinking. I know that this device and future 3-D printing devices will develop into something better, but as of right now...I think this is useless. Its nifty that it can make a few treats, and even ravioli...but I honestly think I would find myself wasting more time making creations out of this thing. Also note that they said "one ingredient at a time". This makes me want to wait a few years once they have developed more, because that adds more petty time to the process. Look at the process of it making ravioli. Sorry, but I'm not waiting for over 50 raviolis to be created. Like shafe88 said...basically a cheap pastry bag and two hands can do the same thing.
  • -1 Hide
    biohazrdfear , December 11, 2013 7:38 AM
    "Pretty pricey for a time saving device", is exactly what I was thinking. I know that this device and future 3-D printing devices will develop into something better, but as of right now...I think this is useless. Its nifty that it can make a few treats, and even ravioli...but I honestly think I would find myself wasting more time making creations out of this thing. Also note that they said "one ingredient at a time". This makes me want to wait a few years once they have developed more, because that adds more petty time to the process. Look at the process of it making ravioli. Sorry, but I'm not waiting for over 50 raviolis to be created. Like shafe88 said...basically a cheap pastry bag and two hands can do the same thing.
  • -1 Hide
    biohazrdfear , December 11, 2013 7:38 AM
    "Pretty pricey for a time saving device", is exactly what I was thinking. I know that this device and future 3-D printing devices will develop into something better, but as of right now...I think this is useless. Its nifty that it can make a few treats, and even ravioli...but I honestly think I would find myself wasting more time making creations out of this thing. Also note that they said "one ingredient at a time". This makes me want to wait a few years once they have developed more, because that adds more petty time to the process. Look at the process of it making ravioli. Sorry, but I'm not waiting for over 50 raviolis to be created. Like shafe88 said...basically a cheap pastry bag and two hands can do the same thing.
  • 1 Hide
    tomc100 , December 11, 2013 8:13 AM
    3-D printing will soon become cheaper as more and more people adopt it since it is extremely useful for people to create spare or replacement parts for just about anything such as furniture, toys, utensils, etc. Jay Leno has one to print out parts for old classic cars that are no longer made.
  • 0 Hide
    beoza , December 11, 2013 8:27 AM
    @neieus it is one step closer to an actual replicator. Look at the original communicator, that became the model for our flip phones, UCLA-Berkley has a working Tricorder like device that's portable, it uses ultra sound, and cant diagnose illnesses but it's similar. Look at the design of the Commodore PET doesn't it look similar to the computer used in Star Trek TOS? How about Data Pads and Tablets? A lot of our modern gadgets and tech we take for granted was once considered only as a work of fiction. Now if they could combine this version of the 3D food printer with say an easy bake oven that would be cool!
  • 0 Hide
    techslave3 , December 11, 2013 9:08 AM
    There's just something wrong about eating your food from an extruder. I think I will go with the vanilla paste.
  • 1 Hide
    husker , December 11, 2013 10:21 AM
    This is not a 3D printer in my opinion. They are just taking a popular catch phrase and mis-applying it. For example I could create a simple wooden ramp and then scoop up some ice-cream and put it in the "hopper" at the top of the ramp and then let the ice cream roll down the ramp and into my bowl. Does this make my ramp some kind of 3D Ice Cream Sunday printer?
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