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3D printing your food may sound like an old-school sci-fi technique, but with new technology it doesn’t seem so far out. While food 3D printers may not yet have the capabilities of a Star Trek food replicator, they can print some unique and ornamental additions to your cooking and baking. While 3D printed food has ranged from pizza to chocolates, the most commonly seen printed foods are based out of sugar. With highly detailed designs that can be customized, these function well as ornamental decorations as well as unique gifts.
One model carried by Project 3D Printers is the Wiiboox Sweetin Food 3D printer, which has printing compatibility with ingredients such as dark and white chocolate, candy, and jam. It features a food-grade extruder head that can be removed for cleaning and changing of materials. Although many food prints are kept at room temperature, these printheads can heat up to 37 °C for certain foods.
Whether or not the practicality of current food printing technology is up to the food industry standard, it shows the remarkable ability of additive manufacturing to find a home everywhere. Although current food printers may seem limited, just try imagining what foods could be built from the ground up through extrusion; 3D printed meatloaf, anyone?