Would you like a 3D print of fries with that?


We don’t have flying cars yet, or time travel, but I’m encouraged to see that NASA is at least working on this

NASA can send robots to Mars, no problem. But if it’s ever going to put humans on the Red Planet, it has to figure out how to feed them over the course of a years-long mission.

So the space agency has funded research for what could be the ultimate nerd solution: a 3-D printer that creates entrees or desserts at the touch of a button.

Yes, it’s another case of life imitating “Star Trek” (remember the food replicator?). In this case, though, the creators hope there is an application beyond deep-space pizza parties. The technology could also be used to feed hungry populations here on Earth.

Texas-based Systems and Materials Research Corp. has been selected for a $125,000 grant from NASA to develop a 3-D printer that will create “nutritious and flavorful” food suitable for astronauts, according to the company’s proposal. Using a “digital recipe,” the printers will combine powders to produce food that has the structure and texture of, well, actual food. Including smell…

Obviously, the food would not be created out of thin air. The “toner” on this copier would have to consist of the chemical building blocks of the actual food items. The story doesn’t really spell out why that’s such an advantage, but I’m guessing it’s because powders containing those compounds are more easily stored.

But still… you would have to have the water that would flesh out the food, and… I don’t know why this would be an improvement over Tang.

But it sounds cool.

Personally, I want a 3D printer that would print diamonds out of coal dust. Or make a really convincing 3D print of Christina Hendricks. Just as a for-instance. I think that would be highly marketable.


3 thoughts on “Would you like a 3D print of fries with that?

  1. Stephen Davis II

    Why couldn’t you just eat the toner? And would the printer cost $99 and the toner $299 and print out one day’s meals?


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