We most often associate 3D printing with highly specialized technology, used only by the largest global companies. Meanwhile, it is used on a much wider scale than you might think. What’s more, home 3D printers are already available at a price not exceeding several hundred dollars, so such a device can also appear under our roof. What does this have to do with the title 3D print in the kitchen? It turns out that with the use of appropriate materials and precautions, a 3D printer can be used to print many objects needed in the kitchen. What are these objects? Can a 3D printer also create food? What is the use of 3D printers in the culinary world?
See for yourself!
Where to find inspiration and projects for 3D printing?
If you want to print a given model in a 3D printer, you can create a design yourself in one of the special programs (among them you can also find free versions, such as 3DCrafter, Art of Illusion, AUTODESK123D) or download the design in a .stl file, for example from thingiverse.com . You can find thousands of free downloadable designs here.
- Handbag clips,
- Citrus juicers.
If any of you have more cash, you can consider custom 3D printing and make unique kitchen accessories for yourself that will delight every guest.
3D homemade food production?
Printing food on a home 3D printer sounds futuristic, however, it is not as far away as it may seem. For example, there are restaurants around the world that only serve dishes from a 3D printer. In one of these restaurants (foodink.io), among the furniture produced by the 3D method, on the dishes printed using the 3D method, dishes of course created with a 3D printer are served.
Treats from a 3D printer
Nowadays, food is printed as a curiosity, attracting many amateurs eager to try this futuristic food.
What products can be 3D printed?
- Sugar dough figurines,
- Jelly beans,
- Pizzas (also vegan, on cauliflower dough).
Cocktails with printed patterns (printadrink.com) also seem very glamorous and extravagant. The printer creates a selected pattern inside the glass with a drink (water, juice, alcohol, syrup) using natural ingredients.
Limitations on 3D printing of kitchen accessories
It’s not hard to imagine that a long time will pass before we use our home 3D printers to create food. However, we can print dishes and items that will come into contact with food, although you need to be very careful here.
- Objects created in the most popular technology (FDM) have a ribbed surface, which is an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria.
- During the printing process, volatile organic compounds may be deposited on the model, harmful to our health.
- The most widely used filament, ABS, has not been tested for safety in contact with food.
How to safely print kitchen accessories?
Accessories printed on a home 3D printer may have a short-term contact with food, as long as they are washed under running water using a mild bactericide. Objects that are intended to have longer contact with food must be printed with filaments intended for contact with food products. The printer should also be equipped with a stainless steel nozzle. Brass nozzles may contain lead that is harmful to the human body.
Printing food in space
Since 2006, NASA has been working on the development of 3D food for astronauts. Products printed in this way are not only supposed to contain the necessary nutrients. They are also supposed to look appetizing.
3D food for patients
3D food printing is usually considered overkill. Why would anyone print products that are available in natural forms? It turns out, however, that for some people such food would be a salvation. Patients (especially the elderly) who have problems with swallowing are doomed to eat pulps, which, as you can guess, is cumbersome and uncomfortable in the long run. Meanwhile, 3D printers make it possible to create products that are sufficiently soft and delicate, and at the same time appropriately appetizing.
Extremely interesting research is being carried out on the creation of such a filament that would allow printing of meat … this is an object that would be deceptively similar to meat in appearance, as well as texture, smell and taste. Meat, the production of which no animal would suffer. If the research on such material is successful, it will be a real revolution.
Thanks to 3D printers, it will likely be possible in the future to create food from nutritional raw materials that cannot be produced using traditional methods at present. It is about water duckweed, microalgae or mealworm larvae.
3D printers give talented chefs with an artistic flair a huge range of possibilities. It’s not just about taste anymore. It is about delight in the eyes of the customer at the mere sight of the dish. 3D printing allows you to obtain very complex, sophisticated shapes.