3D Printing Industry

3D Printed Food Is a Lie

Today’s opinion piece offers a new take on a cutting-edge culinary trend.
3D printed food is a lie. Yes, a complete lie, and here’s why: The Foodini claims to be able to “print” edible burgers, pizza, and chocolate. And while I’m sure it’s able to assemble foods, there should be no such thing as “3D printed food.”

If you’re making cookies or even a plate of spaghetti with meatballs, you’re already using additive manufacturing. You boil the pasta, put it on a plate and the place meatballs and sauce on the top. Making a hamburger? Combine the meat (or veggies), onions, cheese and whatever else goes into your beloved custom-made patty, and you’ve “additively manufactured” a burger. Then throw it on the grill and let it cook.

What the Foodini and other so-called 3D food printers actually do is squeeze chocolate, sugar or whatever other cookable medium they’re using out of an extruder, just layering it up to “make” a design or plate. It’s the exact thing you’d do with your two hands.

We think 3D printing is inherently interesting, too, but your great-grandma mastered 3D printing food every time she made a layer cake. Let’s put that excitement where actual innovation is happening: bioprinting, large-scale additive manufacturing, 3D printed metals…. Really anything else that’s happening in the world of 3D printing. I’ll be in the kitchen, additively manufacturing some pizza.

Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Shapeways.

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