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3D Printers for Food: Interesting Technology and Applications

Pizza is the first complete meal that can be printed by a 3D printer, although at the moment the topping is simpler than the one shown in this photo.

Pizza is the first complete meal that can be printed by a 3D printer, although at the moment the topping is simpler than the one shown in this photo.

3D Food Printers

The 3D printer is an exciting device that creates three dimensional objects. The printer builds an object by depositing a printing medium in layers. Instead of using ink as a medium, many consumer level 3D printers use melted plastic that solidifies almost immediately after it's released from the printing nozzle. Other printing media are available, however, including a relatively new one—powdered, liquid, or pureed food material. Sugar, liquid chocolate, and pureed food have all been used to create new food items with interesting and complex shapes and designs. In some cases, using a 3D printer to produce an item made of food is easier than producing the item by hand.

3D food printers may have additional benefits in the near future. NASA has partnered with a Texas company to create a more capable type of printer. The printer will be able to combine powdered material with a liquid to make a wide variety of foods. NASA's goal is to increase the nutrition, stability, and safety of food given to astronauts while they're in space. This will be especially important during deep space missions. It's been suggested that the new printer might also be able to reduce world hunger. Another type of food printer has been used experimentally to produce meat without killing animals.

Some 3D printers can use liquid chocolate as a printing medium.

Some 3D printers can use liquid chocolate as a printing medium.

How Does a 3D Printer Work?

Designing the Object

The manufacture of an item by a 3D printer starts with the creation of an object, or model, in a 3D art or CAD (computer-aided design) program. Many free models are available on websites and can be downloaded. This enables people who don't want to create their own models to participate in the fun of 3D printing.

Code Translation

The computer code that produces the image of the 3D model must be saved as an STL file. The STL code must then be converted into G code—a "language" that the 3D printer understands. Free, open source programs that can generate G code from STL files are available. Some CAD programs can also create G code.

A computer sends the G code to the printer through a USB cable. In some cases a computer isn't needed, however. Some printers have a card reader that can read the G code from an SD card.

Printing the Object

Plastic filament is the most common printing medium for hobbyists. The filament is fed into the extruder of a printer, which heats and melts the plastic. The liquid plastic is then released through a tiny opening in the extruder head to make the object. The plastic solidifies very rapidly after it's released from the extruder.

The G code controls the movement of the extruder head as the plastic is being released. It "tells" the printer to move the extruder in three axes as the object is being printed—left to right (X axis), front to back (Z axis) and up and down (Y axis). Since the plastic is laid down in layers, the printing process is often known as additive manufacturing.

Pureed green peas can be used as a printing medium in one type of 3D food printer.

Pureed green peas can be used as a printing medium in one type of 3D food printer.

Potential Advantages of Printing Food

A 3D food printer works in the same general way as a regular 3D printer. However, the printing medium is a food material instead of melted plastic. It might sound strange to use a printer to make foods in different shapes when some of these foods can be quickly and easily made by hand. This is especially true when we consider the restricted abilities of some of the current food printers and the long time needed to print some types of food.

There are potential advantages to producing food in a printer. These advantages should become more important as printing technology improves and the speed of printing increases. Some possible benefits of food printers are described below.

Personalized, Precise, and Reproducible Nutrition

Since 3D printers follow digital instructions as they print, they may one day be able to make food containing the correct percentage of nutrients required for a particular gender, life stage, lifestyle, or medical condition. The quantity of different vitamins and minerals and the amount of protein, carbohydrate, or omega-3 fatty acids could be controlled, for example.

Unusual and Nutritious Food Composition

Some people who are interested in 3D printed food say that unusual plant or animal material could be ground up and added to the printing powder. They consider this to be a benefit of a food printer. For example, insects are rich in protein but aren't liked as food in many cultures. If they are ground into a powder and mixed with other ingredients, they may be more acceptable. Some algae are also nutritious and could be added to the mix. Since nutritious powders could also be added to conventionally made foods, I don't consider this to be an advantage of 3D printing compared to regular food production.

Interesting Food Designs, Decorations, and Textures

Since the appearance of a 3D printed food depends on the model that was created to instruct the printer, a wide variety of shapes, textures, and decorations can be produced. Printed foods may resemble those of traditional foods, such as a pizza, or they may have an unusual or even unique appearance. Assuming the 3D models have already been created, foods with intricate designs or decorations may be created more easily by a printer than by hand.

Easy Food Preparation

3D printing may become an easier way to prepare processed foods than traditional methods. This remains to be seen, however. If "print cartridges" (ingredient containers) have to be frequently refilled, or if the ingredient containers and printer parts have to be frequently cleaned by hand, 3D food printing could be time consuming. If the ingredients need to be prepared before using them or if the food needs to be cooked after removing it from the printer, this will also detract from the printer's advantages.

Some people enjoy eating insects. These are deep fried. Dried and powdered insects may one day be added to a liquid to make a medium for a food printer.

Some people enjoy eating insects. These are deep fried. Dried and powdered insects may one day be added to a liquid to make a medium for a food printer.

Eating Insects, or Entomophagy

Printed Food Today and in Recent History

As 3D printers within the price range of consumers and small businesses are becoming available, creative people are finding new types of printing media and are making new kinds of products. Some of these products are chocolates, candies, decorations made of sugar, and items made from pureed food. Specialized printers are available for these tasks, although at the moment some are prototypes used by a limited number of people instead of being generally available. I discuss some historic highlights in food printing and some food printers that are currently available or should be soon.

Creating Chocolates

Printers for chocolates exist, but they are expensive. They seem to be aimed at professional confectioners and cake decorators who want to create designs in chocolate. The announcement of a consumer-level chocolate printer a few years ago was interesting.

The ChocaByte was on display at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in 2014. The printers in the initial run of 500 units cost US$99. The cartridges of chocolate medium were priced at $10 for four cartridges. The company and their printer seem to have disappeared, however. The company's Facebook page still existed when this article was last updated, but there have been no posts on the page since 2014.

The ChocaByte was a small device that printed one chocolate at a time. The chocolate medium had to be heated in the microwave or hot water to change it into the consistency required by the printer. A chocolate took "less than ten minutes" to print, according to the company that made the printer. Other companies have developed prototype chocolate printers for consumers and are currently improving them. Perhaps the new devices will have better features than the ChocaByte and the wait will be worthwhile.

Some of the professional-level printers produce chocolate products with beautiful and intricate designs. In at least some of these, the solid medium is melted inside the printer during the printing process. The creativity involved in chocolate design could be very appealing in a capable and reasonably priced consumer-level printer, as long as the device is easy to use.

Candies, Cake Decorations, and Centerpieces

To make sugar candies or decorations, a printer's nozzle spreads a thin layer of powdered sugar crystals on the build platform of the printer. Water, food colors, and flavors are then sprayed on the sugar, moistening it and turning into a solid, continuous layer. The process is repeated as an object is built.


The ChefJet and ChefJet Pro were printers that produced both sugar and chocolate items. Examples of their creations are shown in the video above. The printers were aimed at people who wanted to create cake decorations and centerpieces, including bakers and chefs. Both printers produced decorative items with complex shapes. They were created by a company called 3D Systems.

The ChefJet printers sound more interesting than the ChocaByte for professionals in the food industry and perhaps for some consumers. Once again, however, there have been problems with the devices. A staff problem in the company that makes the printers and an investor upset caused the project to stall. At one point, the problems appear to be solved. The printers were advertised on the manufacturer's website, at least in a prototype form, though they had to be obtained from the manufacturer instead of from a store.

Brill 3D Culinary Studio

At the time when this article was last updated, I couldn't find any reference to the ChefJet on the maker's website. The 3D Systems website does have a page announcing the creation of a different food printer that apparently uses the company’s technology, however. The goal of this printer seems to be to create cake decorations, like the ChefJet printers. The printer is called the Brill 3D Culinary Studio. A web search for this printer will display a page about it. Other food printers already exist and are being used by cooks, including the one mentioned below.

Creating Items From Pureed Food

The Foodini is a printer that uses pureed food or other thick liquids as a medium and turns them into shapes that may be time consuming to create by hand. Depending on the composition of the puree, the printed food could be very nutritious. However, the fact that a food has to be pureed before being used in the printer might be considered a disadvantage by some people.

Physical Appearance of the Printer

The printer has a modern and sleek appearance. Many of its parts are enclosed and can't be seen when the device is operating. The user controls the printer via a touchscreen and has a wireless connection for downloading recipes. The company's goal is to create a certified food-safe printer.

Ingredient Capsules

The Foodini has five capsules for different liquids. Examples of possible liquids include pureed vegetables, fillings made from well ground meats, tomato and cheese sauces, and liquid doughs. The printer is programmed to use the liquids in the order required to assemble a food item.

Printer Abilities

A version of the Foodini is currently for sale. Its price likely limits its purchase to professional food producers. The company says that it plans to produce a consumer-level version eventually. The current device has been used to create foods such as ravioli, pizza, burgers, and cookies. It's sold with some food designs loaded in its memory.

The current version of the printer doesn't cook the food, although the company is investigating the possibility of a printer that does this with a laser. They probably realize that if their printer doesn't have some distinct advantages compared to assembling food by hand and then cooking it in a microwave oven, it's unlikely to be successful.

A Possible Advantage

One advantage of the printer has been identified by some of the people who use it. Using fish as a example, they say that all of its parts— muscle (meat), bones, and skin—can be used in the printer in a pureed form. The peel of vegetables can be used in a puree as well as their flesh. This could reduce food waste. Reducing food waste may also be a benefit of purees created for other purposes, however.

Researchers may have a solution to the problem of cooking a printed meal. They have created a protoype 3D printer that contains an infrared lamp. The printer not only cooks printed food but also applies different temperatures to different parts of the meal as needed.

The NASA 3D Printed Food Project

At the moment, the food available for astronauts isn't suitable for the multi-year, deep space missions that NASA hopes to carry out in the future. For example, the present food preservation system used in space vessels is inadequate for a trip to Mars.

Limits of Packaged Food

Keeping food frozen or refrigerated in a spacecraft would use valuable resources. Therefore NASA currently provides astronauts with individually packaged and preserved meals that are shelf stable. Nutrients are destroyed in the preservation process, however. In addition, the meals aren't personalized for an astronaut's individual needs. Another problem with the present foods is that they don't provide enough variety and interest for a long voyage.

A Prototype Printer for Space Travel

NASA has awarded a $125,000 grant to Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) to enable them to build a prototype 3D food printer. Anjan Contractor, an engineer at SMRC, says that in the system that they are creating, the proteins, carbohydrates, macronutrients, and micronutrients would be stored on the spacecraft in a powdered form. He says that these ingredients will remain stable for thirty years as long as no moisture is present. Nutrients in the powder could come from a wide variety of sources, including non-traditional foods like insects and algae.

During the space voyage, the dry nutrients would be mixed with flavoring agents and water or oil to create a printing medium. The printer would deposit the resulting paste on a heated bed, which would cook the food. The production of drinkable water and the preservation of the oil needed for the printing medium are two additional factors that need to be considered when planning a long space voyage.

The BeeHex Pizza Printer

Anjan Contractor has started a new company called BeeHex. The company has created a 3D food printing "robot" based on Contractor's NASA prototype. The device reportedly prints a pizza in only a minute. Five minutes are needed to cook the pizza.

The robot—which seems the same as a food printer to me—is known as the Chef3D. It can't yet cook food, but like the creators of the Foodini, Contractor wants to eventually create a combination printer/oven. His goal is to make a food printer a common household appliance, like the microwave and coffee maker are today. According to the Business Insider report referenced below, the printer will appear in specific theme parks, shopping malls, and sports arenas.

Printing Synthetic Food

Although it may have only minor value in the present, 3D printed food could become significant in the future. In today's world people may appreciate the need for synthetic, 3D printed food on a long space flight but see no value for it on Earth. Anjan Contractor suggests that the food created for astronauts could also be used to alleviate hunger or to supply the military with food, however. The dried ingredients could be shipped for long distances and stored for a long time.

Some people predict that synthetic food may be necessary in the future as the Earth runs out of sufficient food resources to support the increasing world population. This is a frightening thought, but it may one day become a reality. Anjan Contractor feels that we need to change what we consider to be "food" in order to feed humanity.

New 3D food printers are being created. In addition to the printed products mentioned in this article, printers are creating pasta and pancakes. The technology is progressing, though it isn't mainstream yet.

In the future, we may no longer need to kill animals to obtain meat.

In the future, we may no longer need to kill animals to obtain meat.

Printing Meat

Another specialized 3D food printer in prototype form is the bioprinter. Bioprinters print living cells, but not all of them are used to make food. In the past, at least one company—Modern Meadow—has used a bioprinter to create real, 3D printed meat without killing animals. This is possible due to the existence of stem cells in animals. Stem cells also exist in humans.

A stem cell is unspecialized. When it's stimulated in the right way, it can produce one or more specialized cell types. Certain stem cells from a cow can be stimulated to produce muscle cells. Meat is made of muscle cells.

The production of printed meat can start by obtaining the required stem cells from a cow via a biopsy (extraction of tissue from a living animal). The stem cells can multiply in a lab, so continually extracting cells from a living cow isn't necessary. In order to make the meat, the stem cells are allowed to produce other types of cells in laboratory equipment. The cell mixture, or "bioink", is then deposited on a special surface by a 3D printer. Multiple cell layers are laid down by the printer. The cells fuse, forming muscle, or meat.

Printing Vegetarian and Vegan Meat

The process described above sounds wonderful, but it seems to be expensive. Modern Meadow has stopped printing meat and has now turned its attention to using yeast cells to produce collagen and then fermenting the collagen to make a material that resembles leather. This could help to save animals, though it won’t provide us with food. Other companies have successfully 3D-printed meat, though in some (but not all) cases the “meat” is actually made of plant material. Plant-based meat substitutes can already be bought in stores. I think the printed forms will need to have distinct advantages in order to be successful, such as a better resemblance to real meat or the ability to be freshly created for the customer.

The procedure involved in creating real 3D-printed meat is far more complicated than other types of food printing. The printer is dealing with delicate, living cells, which must be kept alive. Although this technology is still in the experimental stage and is not likely to become widespread for some time, it may become very important in the future. On the other hand, the process of printing the vegetarian version of meat may become more important as the product gets closer to the texture, taste, and behaviour as real meat. The last reference below highlights the efforts of companies to print "veggie meat" commercially in the near future. Several companies are hoping to have their product ready sometime in 2023.

Food Ink is a company that creates restaurants in which everything—furniture, utensils, and food—is created by 3D printers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Current Food Printers

Nutritionists say that eating whole, nutrient rich, and unprocessed or minimally processed food is the healthiest diet for us. With this in mind, it's hard for me to see the point of consumer level food printers that use less than healthy printing media, except on special occasions. In addition, some printers may be time consuming to use, which could negate the benefits of owning a 3D printer.

Since new 3D food printers are appearing, however, new benefits of the printers may soon be revealed. In addition, the advantages or disadvantages of some devices can't be assessed properly, since they aren't available to the general public yet and may be modified before they're sold commercially.

At the moment, it seems to me that these are the main benefits of present and soon to be released 3D food printers. More benefits should appear as the technology advances.

  • New technology often builds on old technology. Understanding how the present printers work and discovering their advantages and disadvantages may help people create more useful food printers in the future.
  • Creating interesting shapes with pureed vegetables mixed with other foods may encourage children to eat green vegetables. These are loaded with important nutrients but are often unattractive to young taste palates.
  • Letting children choose or create their own 3D models may be an effective strategy to encourage them to eat nutritious foods.
  • Businesses may be able to create uniquely designed foods that appeal to the public, and individuals may be able to create interesting food gifts.
  • Creating new food shapes is a way for people to be creative and have fun.
  • Printing food with specific ingredients in the correct quantities or with specific textures or tastes may be useful for people with certain medical conditions, especially if the measurement of each ingredient is computerized.

It will be interesting to see if people feel that the advantages of the latest food printers outweigh any disadvantages. It will also be interesting to see how the technology improves over time. There seem to be quite a lot of prototype printers that produce food but not many final versions of devices within the price range of consumers. 3D food printing may remain a novelty or it may become a mainstream way of preparing at least some types of food. Time will tell.

Printed sculptures made of pure sugar; the sugar crystals were fused by hot air

Printed sculptures made of pure sugar; the sugar crystals were fused by hot air


  • "Hungry? A Startup Wants You to 3D Print Your Next Meal" from the Smithsonian Magazine
  • Meet the Foodini from 3DNatives
  • 3D printed meat (or meat substitute) from 3DNatives
  • "Home-Baked Idea? Nasa mulls 3D printers for food replication" from The Guardian
  • "This robot can 3D-print and bake a pizza in six minutes" from Business Insider
  • Deep-space food science research from NASA
  • "Multi-Material Three-Dimensional Food Printing With Simultaneous Infrared Cooking" (Abstract) from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
  • 3D-printed veggie meats from

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: What technology will be required for a Meat Printing Bio-Tech Specialist?

Answer: A special bioprinter able to handle living cells will be required. The cells must stay alive in the printer and be "printed" in the right way. The technology is not the only factor involved, however. Someone who wants to print meat will need a detailed knowledge of stem cells and cell biology.

Question: What factors will determine whether 3D food printing technology will be successful?

Answer: I think that speed, convenience, and safety are the three most important requirements for the 3D printing of food. The printers won’t be popular if they are slow or if they fail to make the food preparation process significantly faster than traditional methods. Food safety is vitally important. Microbe contamination and multiplication must be avoided. I think that versatility is also a requirement for the printers. Personally, I wouldn’t be interested in buying a printer that made only one type of food. Price is also a factor to consider. For printers to become widely adopted, they must be affordable for many people.

© 2014 Linda Crampton


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 25, 2017:

Making vegetables more enticing would certainly be good! 3D printed meat sounds great to me, too. It would be wonderful to get meat without hurting animals.

Michelle Orelup from Las Vegas, NV on February 25, 2017:

If they can make broccoli taste better, surely there is something they can do for lima beans and brussel sprouts!

I am fascinated by 3D printed meat.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 21, 2015:

Thank you very much, GetitScene.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on June 21, 2015:

This was REALLY very interesting.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2015:

Thank you very much for the second visit and the comment, Heidi! I hope you have a great weekend, too.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 19, 2015:

Enjoyed this hub when it first came out and glad to see it's been awarded Hub of the Day! Well deserved. Congrats and have a great weekend!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2015:

Hi, Susan. Technology does have a way of surprising us! Thank you very much for the comment and the congratulations.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on June 19, 2015:

Very interesting and well-researched article. You mention some applications (such as space travel) that seem perhaps well-suited to 3D printing of food, but it's really hard to think about wide-spread use of the technology for most "normal" people anytime soon. Of course even a couple of years ago I wouldn't have thought I'd have an electronic personal assistant, but now I do. "Never say no to technology," that's my policy. Congratulations on Hub of the Day honors. Well deserved!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2015:

Thank you for the congratulations, RTalloni.

RTalloni on June 19, 2015:

Hmmm… Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for an interesting post!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2015:

Thanks for the congratulations, Richard-Bivins. 3D printing is becoming very exciting! I'm eager to see what the technology creates.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2015:

Hi, TIMETRAVELER2. Thank for the comment. I appreciate your visit and vote.

Richard Bivins from Charleston, SC on June 19, 2015:

Congrats on HOTD... It is an amazing technology. I recently read an article about how a 3D printing robot is building a steel bridge on location. I can imagine a day when we see these 3D printers capable of constructing hi-rise buildings but I'm in no hurry to go into a restaurant to order a 3D printed cheeseburger.

Sondra Rochelle from USA on June 19, 2015:

Great article on a topic that is very interesting. I'd like to see what this "food" tastes like...especially the meat! Voted up.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 19, 2015:

My pleasure my friend. It's the least I can do on this Friday morning.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2015:

Thank you very much for the comment and the congratulations, Kristen. I appreciate the vote as well!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2015:

That's an interesting idea, DreamerMeg! I think your prediction could come true. Thanks for the visit.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 19, 2015:

Alicia, congrats on HOTD! Those printers are pretty cool for food and technology these days. It makes the food look so real and edible, too. Voted up for awesome!

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on June 19, 2015:

That was fascinating. There is some really cool information here. I could see shops having candy and chocolate printers by their tills eventually, with kids able to put their pocket money in while waiting in queue to pay for the groceries and be able to eat a sweet without having to whine for a packet which STILL needs to be paid for and thus have to wait.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2015:

Thank you for the comment, peachpurple.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 28, 2015:

i didn't know there is such thing as 3d printers, thanks for your information

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 17, 2015:

Thanks for the visit and the comment, aesta1. I think that 3D printing technology is becoming very exciting, especially in some areas. It will be interesting to see how 3D printing of food develops. It will also be interesting to see whether it becomes more mainstream!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 17, 2015:

This is really interesting Alicia. I try to follow 3D printing but I just can't imagine myself eating printed food. I really admire what 3D is doing in other areas but not with my food.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 17, 2015:

Hi, Pollyanna. Yes, cooking a pizza is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Putting it in a microwave after printing it would do the job, but it would nice if a more convenient, all-in-one process was available. Thanks for the comment.

Pollyanna Jones from United Kingdom on February 17, 2015:

This is really interesting! Knowing how the microwave oven has revolutionised cooking in my lifetime, I don't know how this would shake things up for the next generation. I just wonder with the 3D printed pizza, how would they cook it? ;-) Great article.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 17, 2015:

Hi, Ron. Marketability is definitely going to be a major concern in 3D food printing! The results could be very useful, though. Thanks for the comment.

Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on February 17, 2015:

Very interesting. As technology progresses, I'm sure printed food will become a marketplace item. I must say, though, that after watching the videos, my mouth is not salivating at the thought.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 17, 2015:

Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the share, Patricia! I appreciate your visit. I love the angels!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 17, 2015:

Wow this is amazing. Where have I been that I did not know of this? Very interesting...and promising great possibilities for the future.

Angels are on the way to you this morning, Alicia. ps

I am never disappointed when I come here to read...there is always something interesting to read.

voted up++++ and shared

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 21, 2014:

Thank you very much, Adventuretravels. 3D food printers may change the catering landscape, but there will probably be new opportunities for food designers! It will be interesting to see what the future holds.

Giovanna from UK on November 21, 2014:

Amazing it'll put many a master chef out of a job though :( Oh well that's progress I suppose. Great hub. Really interesting.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on August 25, 2014:

Thank you for the comment, Glenn. Yes, I think 3D printing could have a huge effect on our lives. The future should be very interesting!

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 25, 2014:

I believe the world we live in will be vastly different in the future due to 3D printing. We will see major changes in many businesses as this technology embraces fields such as printing food, body parts to replace injured limbs, and even simple tasks such as printing physical things like toys.

I found your descriptions very detailed and complete. I especially found your explanation of how meat can be printed from stem cells very interesting.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 19, 2014:

Hi, Homeplace Series. It's nice to meet you! Thanks for the comment. I agree with you - 3D printers and their potential uses are both fascinating and amazing!

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on July 19, 2014:

Ever since I read the book "Maker" a couple of years ago, I've been fascinated by increased presence of 3-D printers in our lives. Thanks for this update and new insights. I'm amazed, and can hardly believe what I see and read. Thanks, again, for an interesting hub! ;-)

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 16, 2014:

Hi, Glenn. I agree - I think printing chocolates will become common soon while printing with stem cells will take much longer to become mainstream. The possibilities are very exciting, though. Investing in specific stocks related to 3D printing could be a great idea! Thank you very much for the the comment.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on June 16, 2014:

I have been reading a lot on 3D printing and even invested in a couple of stocks related to it. Your hub on 3D printing food is well researched with a lot of interesting information.

I think one of the most advanced technologies will be the use of stem cells to print food. As you said, the use of stem cells is still in the experimental stage and this is still far off in development. But I am sure it will become useful sometime in the distant future.

In the short term, I can see 3D printing of chocolate and candy items becoming a standard development very soon.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 21, 2014:

That would be wonderful if it ever happens, Deb!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 21, 2014:

Maybe we can eradicate world hunger…you think?

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 07, 2014:

Hi, Vellur. Yes, I wonder what technology will come up with next! Thanks for the visit and the vote .

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 07, 2014:

Interesting, just imagine 3-D foods, quite amazing. Wonder what the technology world will serve up next. Great hub, voted up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2014:

Thank you very much for the lovely comment and the vote, Prasetio. It's great to hear from you again! I hope you're well.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 03, 2014:

Technology is always great and I had never thinking about this before. Excellent hub and you always give us the best like this one. Good job, Alicia. Voted up and take care!


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2014:

Thanks for the visit, Audrey. Yes, some people may be hesitant to eat food that comes out of a printer! One thing that will help is the fact that the upcoming consumer-level printers look like modern kitchen appliances. At least some of the printer manufacturers are aiming to get their products certified as safe for food, which should also help.

Audrey Howitt from California on May 02, 2014:

Wow--I have never heard of this before! Interesting, although I might hesitate to eat it!!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2014:

Hi, DzyMsLizzy. Thanks for the votes! It is exciting technology, but I agree that improvements need to be made in the present devices. Hopefully the future food printers will be both inexpensive and very useful!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2014:

Hi, Nell. I agree - the present printers may lay the groundwork for very useful devices in the future. Thank you very much for the comment, the vote and the share!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on May 02, 2014:

WOW! Just Wow! Ever closer we creep to the 24th-century food replicators of Star Trek fame.....

I'm not sure this is practical or totally nutritious, at this point, however. I'm sure horrifically expensive to boot. An interesting novelty at this point.

Voted up and interesting.

Nell Rose from England on May 02, 2014:

Hi Alicia, fascinating subject, and something that I have been watching on tv, only the other printers though, like making small statues and plastic type things. for food to work I think it will only be good for going into Space, not sure if it will really take off down here, scuse the pun! I get the feeling that this maybe just a sort of prototype that someone will suddenly say, hey maybe if we do it this way instead of that, then it may really work, great hub, and something that fascinates me! voted up and shared, nell

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2014:

Hi, Liz. Yes, the applications of food printers are exciting! I'm looking forward to seeing how they develop. Thanks for the visit.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on May 01, 2014:

I've heard of 3D printers before but I've never seen them in action and never seen a 3D food printer. It is truly amazing!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2014:

Hi. Martie. Yes, some of the upcoming 3D printers are amazing! There seems to be a lot of potential with this technology. Thank you very much for the comment.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on May 01, 2014:

Absolutely mind-blowing! I am totally speechless. Will get a chocolate one first....

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2014:

Thank you very much, Eddy. Enjoy your day, too!

Eiddwen from Wales on May 01, 2014:

I found this hub so very interesting Alicia .Thank you for all your hard work and enjoy your day.


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2014:

Hi, Kawi. Yes, I've heard of the ability of 3D printers to create gun parts, which I find a very scary idea. New technology isn't always good! It's often interesting, though. Thanks for the comment and the votes!

Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on April 30, 2014:

Nicely done Alicia - I've a doc on an individual printing gun parts - wow, here comes George Jetson! Not too far off. Upvoted/interest. Peace. Kawi.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2014:

Thanks, Writer Fox. I appreciate your comment and vote!

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on April 30, 2014:

This is a truly interesting subject and you explained so well. Enjoyed and voted up!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2014:

Thank you very much for the comment and the shares, Heidi! Yes, 3D food printers are interesting. Some of their potential uses are exciting!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on April 30, 2014:

One step closer to a Star Trek replicator! Very interesting application for 3D. Voted up, interesting and sharing here and elsewhere!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2014:

Hi, Jodah. Yes, unless some kind of automated cleaning system is used, cleaning the printer parts in some devices could be a chore! Hopefully future technology will solve this problem. Thanks for the visit.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 29, 2014:

This is amazing stuff Alicia. As someone else said, it' s science fiction becoming reality. Technology is advancing so quickly. At first I thought "How could you use a 3D printer to make food?" But your hub explained that, and it would be good for astronauts in space. The only worry now I can see would be the cleaning.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2014:

Thank you so much for the kind comment, the votes and the pin, Flourish! My favorite application of 3D printers is in the medical field, too. The printers seem to have a great deal of potential!

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 29, 2014:

This is simply amazing technology. Thanks for showcasing it in this marvelous hub! Voted up and more, and pinning to my Technology board. One of my favorite applications of 3D technology is medical/veterinary, but it's proving useful in all kinds of realms.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2014:

Thanks for the visit and the comment, Bill. The latest technology can definitely be mind blowing! It will probably become even more amazing in the future.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 29, 2014:

Alicia, I was born in 1948. I can't wrap my brain around this kind of technology. It is beyond me and yet fascinating. Thank you for blowing my mind this morning.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2014:

Thank you very much for the kind comment, Pamela! I appreciate the vote and the share, too.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 29, 2014:

This is a fascinating hub full of information that I knew little about before now. I love the pictures you displayed, and your explanations were easy to understand. Voted up and shared.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2014:

Hi, Devika. I don't eat insects either, but I would if it was necessary. The thought isn't very attractive, though! Thanks for the comment and the vote.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2014:

Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the pin, Peggy! The potential uses of 3D food printers are exciting. I'm interested in seeing how the technology progresses!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 29, 2014:

What modern technology has created to people's minds is truly amazing and I don't eat insects and no chance of that happening. You have created a beautifully presented hub and it deserves a vote up.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2014:

This is getting closer and closer to what was seen on shows like Star Trec with their food replicators. Amazing! I don't see this becoming mainstream for individuals in my lifetime. Of course I could be wrong depending upon how long I am still alive. Up+ votes and pinning this to my Do You Know This? board.