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Author: admin, 29.04.2014. Category: Vegetable Garden

In news that will bring joy to all who hear, 3D printing pizza may soon become a reality and not just a magical fantasy that lives in my head. Contractor also hopes to keep the software for his food printer completely open source, so that users are free to look at the code and rework recipes as they choose.
This wouldn’t affect the need for produce, as jwarddesign points out above, there would still be the same demand for the basic ingredients used to print the pizza or whatever food is being printed. NASA is funding a hugely ambitious project that would involve making a 3D printer that can make food at the press of a button, in order to feed manned missions to Mars. 3D printers work by building up the material in layers, and a pizza is entirely made up of layers. It will also allow people who have dietary restrictions to play with the printer to suit their needs. In the not-so-distant future, there’s a good chance that our population will grow too large to be maintained by current food sources. Mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor recently received a $125,000 grant from NASA to build a prototype 3D printer with a goal of automating food creation.NASA"s interest in a 3D food printer is obvious. NASA is funding a project headed by the Systems and Materials Research Corporation to develop a 3D food printer.


The problem of food is a pretty big one for manned missions, since there isn’t enough space to bring as much food as you would probably need to bring. The printer is equipped with cartridges that contain powders and oils that will be made up of the basic building blocks of food—protein, carbohydrates, sugars, etc. Each print head will extrude one layer at a time—so one cartridge will be the dough, one the sauce, one the cheese, etc. This technology could save millions of people from starving, as well as protect the environment from factory scale farming, which will no longer even be practical (arguably, it’s not always that practical even now).
Just to get to the Red Planet takes seven months, so the problem of feeding the travelers is a big one if we are ever going to send humans to other planets. Protein in particular could be made up of insects, since insects are a much more environmentally stable source of protein.
It comes out uncooked, and is cooked at the same time it’s printed, on a heated plate at the bottom of the printer.
Not coincidentally, Contractor’s printer is also based off of open source software—RepRap.
3D printed meals will be able to be made out of a variety of ingredients, not just insects, but also algae, duckweed, grass, beet leafs, and lupine seeds.


By combining each block, a wide range of foods should be able to be created by the printer. To find a solution, NASA has hired mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor and his company, Systems and Materials Research Corporation, to build a prototype 3D printer that can make food out of powders and oils.
These things are pretty much unpalatable now, but the printer will make them into something that people can eat (it probably won’t taste as good as the real thing, but we may eventually have no other choice). The problem of waste is eliminated as well, because the cartridges are shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so they can be used up completely without going bad.
Contractor has already made a prototype that makes chocolate (check it out in the video below!), but for his NASA grant, he is working on a prototype that makes pizza. The pizza topping is to be a nondescript "protein layer".The project is definitely in its infancy, but has a lot of potential.



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