According to a recent article featured in the Guardian, the world’s leading pasta producer is currently working with Dutch researchers to develop 3D-printed pasta. Barrilla, a fourth-generation Italian family business, envisions a future with the rapid production of custom-designed edible pasta.
Kjeld van Bommel, project leader for Dutch research group TNO, says:
“Suppose it’s your 25th wedding anniversary. You go out for dinner and surprise your wife with pasta in the shape of a rose.”
The project is still in its infancy but Barilla intends to offer cartridges of dough that can be inserted into a 3D printer that allow customers to create their own designs. It’s already possible to print the pasta 10 times faster than when the technology first arrived and Barilla is projecting they will be able to print 15-20 pieces of pasta in two minutes.
3D-printed food is not a new idea. Natural Machines, a Spanish startup, unveiled its Foodini prototype last year which aims to “take on the difficult and/or time-consuming parts of food preparation that often discourage people from creating homemade food.” Foodini can print a variety of edibles – including chocolate – and is expected to ship its first batch of printers in mid-2014.
Domestic 3D-printing has been advancing at a rapid rate since the technology first became affordable for the average consumer. And as the price of 3D printers has fallen, sales have increased dramatically. With 3D printers becoming more mainstream we can only expect more innovations like this that will shape the way we live in the future. 3D food may not sound tasty now, but there could be a day when printing your dinner is a part of everyday life.