3D Printers Could Be Coming to Your Kitchen

One Columbia professor is on a mission to develop a coffeemaker-sized 3D food printer
3d printer

Flickr / John Abella / CC BY 2.0

This machine is primed to take over another part of your life.

Cooking is one of the last bastions left largely untouched by modern machinery. Sure, there are appliances and gadgets that can make your life easier, but when it comes to the ability to cook a delicious dish, no amount of technology can substitute for pure talent and ability in the kitchen. One Columbia professor, however, is out to give all chefs, amateur and expert alike, the ability to cook gourmet meals.

Professor Hod Lipson is at the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University, where he is currently developing a coffeemaker-sized 3D food printer. Such a contraption would be useful in a home kitchen, for nutritional and health benefits, for special needs populations, and for all home chefs looking to crank out a perfect meal, minus the whole labor-of-love thing.

The obvious application of the tool makes recipe execution foolproof, but the benefits don’t stop there. Lipson said: “There are a lot of opportunities around printing food, starting with the ability to control nutrition all the way to creating new and novel food items that you cannot make any other way.”

He also touched on how 3D printers could lead to increased personalization of meals: “Your breakfast wouldn’t be made out of processed foods that are standard one-size-fits-all nut would actually have exactly what you need, what’s good for you that day based on your biometrics.”

Currently, Lipson is working with the International Culinary Center in New York City to create new foods with the printer, pushing the boundaries of what “cooking” really means in today’s day and age.

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