Noble Dreams

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#1 Mon 13th Jan 2014 04:16 pm

SW
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Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

The Audacious Plan to end hunger with 3-D printing

All of us trekkies have been dreaming and hoping for the day of a replicator? This might just be the beginning. Perhaps a good stock investment?

No more world hunger, no more animal cruelty, no more destruction of the planet for factory farming. It's something I've been dreaming and hoping would come about. Of course in the very very preliminary stages - I think I read that the printers start at $5K?

But very, very hopeful and yes, audacious!

http://qz.com/86685/the-audacious-plan- … nted-food/

Anjan Contractor’s 3D food printer might evoke visions of the “replicator” popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer.

But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing, envisions a much more mundane—and ultimately more important—use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth’s 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor’s vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.

Ubiquitous food synthesizers would also create new ways of producing the basic calories on which we all rely. Since a powder is a powder, the inputs could be anything that contain the right organic molecules. We already know that eating meat is environmentally unsustainable, so why not get all our protein from insects?

If eating something spat out by the same kind of 3D printers that are currently being used to make everything from jet engine parts to fine art doesn’t sound too appetizing, that’s only because you can currently afford the good stuff, says Contractor. That might not be the case once the world’s population reaches its peak size, probably sometime near the end of this century.

“I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently,” says Contractor. “So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.”

There will be pizza on Mars

http://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2013/ … &h=423

If Contractor’s utopian-dystopian vision of the future of food ever comes to pass, it will be an argument for why space research isn’t a complete waste of money. His initial grant from NASA, under its Small Business Innovation Research program, is for a system that can print food for astronauts on very long space missions. For example, all the way to Mars.

“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life,” says Contractor. “The way we are working on it is, all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years.”

Pizza is an obvious candidate for 3D printing because it can be printed in distinct layers, so it only requires the print head to extrude one substance at a time. Contractor’s “pizza printer” is still at the conceptual stage, and he will begin building it within two weeks. It works by first “printing” a layer of dough, which is baked at the same time it’s printed, by a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. Then it lays down a tomato base, “which is also stored in a powdered form, and then mixed with water and oil,” says Contractor.

Finally, the pizza is topped with the delicious-sounding “protein layer,” which could come from any source, including animals, milk or plants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6XASxni0I0
Chocolate Printing Trial1.mp4

read more at http://qz.com/86685/the-audacious-plan- … nted-food/

And just unveiled at an international food restaurant show in Las Vegas this week -

The ChefJet 3D Printer Prints Dessert, And Yes, It's Really Good

LAS VEGAS –- 3D printing is officially delicious.

At the International CES here this week, 3D Systems, a South Carolina-based company, unveiled what it’s billing as “the world’s first and only professional-certified, kitchen-ready 3D food printer.”

It can print sugar, chocolate or candy in pretty much any design imaginable.

To create a sweet, the printer needs water and dry powder ingredients.

Here’s how it works: A rolling pin-like mechanism first spreads a fine, even layer of powder on the printing surface. An inkjet print head then sprays a narrow stream of water, drawing on the layer of sugar in whatever pattern the owner has pre-programmed. When the water hits the powder, it recrystallizes, so that whatever the water touches hardens.

The process is repeated layer-by-layer, building the treat from the bottom up, printing at the rate of a vertical inch each hour.

The final result: intricate, detailed confections that twist, turn and sparkle.

The sweets can be used as sculptural toppers on wedding cakes, custom sugar cubes, printed and personalized candies, “and everything in between,” said Liz Von Hasseln, the creative director of food products for 3D Systems.

But don’t expect to buy one of these for your home. The ChefJet, when it’s released sometime in the first half of the year, will start at “under $5,000,” Von Hasseln said. It’s geared toward professional bakers, pastry chefs, restaurateurs and chocolatiers.

A larger version, the ChefJet Pro, can add color to the confections, and will be available for “under $10,000.”

“This is a piece of really professional kitchen equipment,” Von Hasseln said.

Von Hasseln and her husband, Kyle, are both trained architects. In graduate school, according to their website, they wanted to make a unique birthday gift for a friend, so they hacked a 3D printer and tried to print her a cake. The gift ultimately turned out well, and they started a company, The Sugar Lab, to create and design custom confections for events.

Von Hasseln and her husband, Kyle, are both trained architects. In graduate school, according to their website, they wanted to make a unique birthday gift for a friend, so they hacked a 3D printer and tried to print her a cake. The gift ultimately turned out well, and they started a company, The Sugar Lab, to create and design custom confections for events.

3D Systems acquired The Sugar Lab in September, and the Von Hasselns have been working there since, helping develop the ChefJet line.

“This is a whole really new territory for 3D printing,” said Liz Von Hasseln, “and it will allow a whole new community to really engage with the technology that maybe wouldn’t have been able to before, so that’s really exciting.”

And for those wondering: Yes, I got to try a piece of 3D-printed candy -- sour apple flavor -- and it was delicious.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/1 … 73271.html


HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson

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