3D Printing the Filet of the Future

image-description

One of the more unusual and attention-grabbing applications for additive manufacturing is the 3D printing of food. A team at Cornell University has been pioneering “edible additive manufacturing” in collaboration with the French Culinary Institute since 2009. Food items, ranging from chocolate, cheese, and hummus, to turkey and scallops, have been pureed and successfully printed into 3D shapes on the syringe-based Fab@Home 3D printer.

Essential Dynamics introduced the Imagine 3D printer in early 2012. The Imagine product employs the material extrusion process, using syringes to dispense edible items and other materials. In August, Essential Dynamics announced a second generation of the Imagine. It has a 228 x 228 mm (9 x 9 inch) build platform and is priced just under $2,000 for an assembled system.

Another recent announcement caught our interest. The Thiel Foundation, associated with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, is investing $350,000 in Modern Meadow, a startup company in Columbia, Missouri. The company is developing 3D bioprinting to create leather products made from animal cells. After that, the company plans to develop a 3D-printed, a ready-to-eat meat alternative. The CEO of Modern Meadow is Andras Forgacs, whose father Gabor Forgacs is one of the early developers of bioprinting, which uses cells to build living tissue in 3D.

Modern Meadow aims to produce food grade animal protein using proprietary tissue engineering technologies. It will initially target the leather industry and then the food industry with hide and meat products.

It’s no doubt that food is big business. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans spent $1.3 billion on food in 2011. It’s too early to speculate how much Modern Meadow and other food-related 3D printing can capture in this large industry, but it will certainly be interesting to watch over the next several years.

Related Posts

Decline in Solid Modeling

December 17, 2009

The CAD industry has been experiencing a rough period. Installations of CAD solid modeling seats declined by 7.9% in 2008,…

Wohlers Associates Publishes 2012 Report on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing

May 15, 2012

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, USA, May 15, 2012—Wohlers Associates, Inc. today announced the publication of Wohlers Report 2012, an in-depth analysis…

AM Terminology

July 29, 2020

Standard terminology for additive manufacturing and 3D printing is critical when communicating. It puts everyone on the “same page” and…

Learn more about ASTM and AM CoE

ASTM unites with the Wohlers brand to build on its market influence and access to top AM industry decision-makers worldwide.

  • Establish standards, certification, and qualification for repeatable, consistent parts and processes
  • Prevent gaps and duplication of work in a dynamic, fast-paced technology space
  • Identify challenges that can be solved with technological improvement

Research and Development

Under the leadership of the R&D team, the AM CoE partners plan and conduct coordinated R&D projects, prioritized annually and targeted to expedite...

Learn More

Education and Workforce Development

Provide a comprehensive program that educates and trains the additive manufacturing workforce at all levels, while continually incorporating new advances...

Learn More