NASA funds research for 3D printer that will print food — food you can eatMay 23, 2013 9 Email article | Print article
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting awfully tired of hearing about the latest 3D-printed guns. That’s why the news that NASA is funding research into a 3D printer with the goal of printing food is probably the best thing I’ve heard all week.
A mechanical engineer by the name of Anjan Contractor received a 6-month $125,000 grant from NASA to build a prototype for the device. Right now, the printer could be used for providing food to astronauts during long space travels but in the future, it could also be used in locations with food shortages. Eventually, Contractor wants the average household’s kitchen to have machines like this.
The advantage of using a system like this is that the printer uses cartridges that contain basic ingredients like oils and carbohydrates. Since they contain what amount to the “building blocks” of different foods, it’ll help minimize food waste by using all the ingredients fully. Also, these cartridges will have a shelf life of 30 years. The shelf life required for long distance space travel according to Contractor is 15 years, so this 3D-printed system of food would have twice that.
Contractor is set to start work on the project in the next couple of weeks. The first food that’s going to be created is music to my ears: Pizza. Good luck on this endeavor, Mr. Contractor. Mankind is counting on you.