Digital Cooking: 3-D Food Printers

Researchers at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab are experimenting with 3-D food printers, envisioning them as the next fashionable appliance for restaurants and home kitchens. 

What's the Latest Development?


Researchers at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab are experimenting with 3-D food printers which, using edible "inks" and digital blueprints, can make precise, novel treats, from perfectly shaped Austrian sugar cookies to scallops shaped liked space shuttles. "The technology is nascent, and so far only produces raw food, but 'it is conceivable that a printer would also cook the material as it prints,' said Hod Lipson, head of the Cornell lab." The ingredients so far have mostly been soft foods such as pesto, cheese and chocolate. 

What's the Big Idea?

Beyond how a 3-D printer might affect the culinary world, scientists believe the new technology can help introduce children to a healthy diet early in life. "If you gave kids peas that didn’t look like peas and said they were a space shuttle, they’re much more apt to eat them because it’s now playtime," said Hod Lipson, head of the Cornell Lab. "It’s a way of introducing nutrition to kids, sort of through trickery." The printing technology could also enable downloadable menus, making a well-known chef's recipe available at home, on the spot.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less