Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hey NASA, Print me off a Slice of Pizza!

NASA has had an interest in 3D printing for quite a while, and it is easy to see why.  They can use these printers in space to print off items that they need.  This will allow them to bring fewer tools and pieces of equipment with them, since they can decide exactly what they will need for a given mission, and print it off.  It would even be possible to set up a 3D printer on the moon, and have it print off a structure for astronauts to use for future missions.

Their latest goal, however, is to use 3D printing technologies to print off food.  This isn’t some long term future goal either, they actually funded a project for this, and it is a reality today.  There is now a prototype 3D printer that can print off an edible pizza!

The video below will show the 3D printer making the pizza, which then needs to be baked for just 70 seconds before it is enjoyed.  The contractor who made the printer claims that the pizza tastes good, though I’m not so sure I believe it myself.  Maybe tastes acceptable would be more believable.  I will say, however, that the end product doesn’t look half bad.

The fact is, however, that as this technology is improved, people in outer space, and anywhere on earth, will be able to print off a variety of types of foods.  The foods will be contained in compact ‘cartridges’ so they will be easier to transport, and have a much longer shelf life. 

This is indeed taking us one step closer to the Star Trek style food replicators that always seemed so futuristic.  The technology is still in need of some advancement, however, with this prototype being made, it will undoubtedly be much easier to make improvements on it so pizzas can be printed faster, and with better results. 

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