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Danielle Eich

Messenger Staff Writer


Recently after the 3D printer was released, a company in Barcelona, Spain has created the very first 3D food printer.

In around 2012 the 3D printer came out revolutionizing modern technology, pricing from around 2,000 to 500,000 dollars. The 3D printer uses liquid, paper, powder, and sheet material to build a model of your selection using a series of cross sections. These layers are then fused together to create a 3D model of the object you have told it to create.

Printing a model with complex designs can take up to a several hours to days. This machine can be less expensive to create things such as phone cases, plates, cups, or any other object. But, some of the parts to the machine that are tiny can tend to be very expensive if lost or damaged.

There are 4 different types of 3D printers. The SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) uses powder and lasers. This machine pulls the air out of the printing chamber and replacing it with nitrogen to prevent fires. It uses powder and nylon which heats up to its melting point and rolls it out on the platform making the shape. The laser scans the shape and melts the powder on the nylon to fuse it together.

The SLA (Stereolithography Apparatus) uses a liquid and doesn’t harden until a ultraviolet light shines on it. The ultraviolet light starts a chemical reaction that makes the liquid form into rigid plastic. A laser shines the ultraviolet light on the liquid, very similar to how the SLS machine does.

The Binder Jetting uses only powder and binding. The powder substance is much like plaster and the binding reacts as a super glue. The machine spreads powder on the platform and then shoots binder into the powder to create the first layer. Layer after layer the machine spreads powder then shoots on the binder.

Lastly, the Polymer Jetting is a blend of Stereolithography and Binder Jetting. Instead of printing a binder this machine prints a thin layer of plastic onto the platform. The platform lowers as another plastic layer is added. The liquid plastic is similar to the SLS process. As each platform lowers an ultraviolet ray cures the plastic together. The material will start out squishy and rubbery but after the ultraviolet it turns rigid and tough.

The Foodini’s company mission statement is “Foodini takes on the difficult parts of making food that is hard and/or time consuming to make fully by hand. One of our goals is to streamline some of cooking’s more rote activities – forming dough into a dozen breadsticks, or filling and forming individual ravioli – to encourage more people to eat healthy foods.”

When using the Foodini you have to put ingredients in the capsule and the Foodini does the rest. The Natural Machines company says that their food from the machine is healthy but that depends on the ingredients that you put into it. The flaw that some people are complaining about is how the Foodini does not cook the food for you. This device was made to help you out in the kitchen and prepare the meal for you, but not fully cook it.

The Foodini plans to come out at the end of the year priced at about $1,300.  In about a year and a half a revised version of the Foodini will come out and cook the food for you.

The Natural Machine company says that “Foodini is a connected device, meaning it’s connected to the Internet. It has a built in touchscreen on the front that provides the user interface for printing food. Once the user chooses the recipe they want to print (from the onboard touchscreen, or from a user’s tablet, laptop, etc.), Foodini will instruct what food to put in each capsule, and then printing can begin.”

The Foodini tells you where to put the food and what to buy. By using the touch screen on the machine, you can choose a recipe, put in the ingredients,  wait for the machine to process your food, and then you have to do the rest by cooking it. The Foodini is very similar to the 3D printer and is based off of their model, but instead of using plastic you get to use real edible food.

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