Over the past several months, we’ve seen machines that 3D print food go from silly to intriguingly promising. One of the best we’ve seen so far is Foodini, a kitchen appliance made by ironically named Natural Machines, Barcelona. It will go on sale soon for about $1,500.
The machine connects to the Internet, and the user selects an online recipe from its touchscreen, or from a networked iPad or laptop. Then the machine displays instructions for what food ingredients it needs to complete the recipe.
All foods must be a thin paste-type consistency.
The user puts the food in a capsule that loads into the machine, and presto! Foodini extrudes the paste onto a plate — which can act as a hotplate to 200° F for recipes that call for it — and solidifies on the fly.
Once they’re done, the pieces of food, whether art-quality candies, pastries, pasta, pizza, or quiche, can be boiled, baked, or eaten as appropriate.
This is the beautiful thing about Foodini: It accepts prepared capsules (that the user buys from the manufacturer) or it accepts general-use capsules that the user fills with home-prepared ingredients. For the latter, the user just blends, grinds, or processes the food before putting it into the capsule.