What’s Cooking: How 3D Design Is Changing the Food Industry

    Posted by Tony Lonergan on Sep 29, 2017 11:00:00 AM

    8694815673_5302a52848_k.jpg3D printing is popping up in most of the industries you might expect: automotive, aerospace and the medical fields. There is, however, another industry that is beginning to reap the benefits of CAD and 3D printing: The food industry.

    That’s right; sit back and get ready to digest the following: Researchers and chefs alike believe that 3D printing could help make food production faster, easier, more sustainable, and develop food catered to very specific diet needs and restrictions. Read on to learn more about how CAD and 3D printing are altering the food industry.

    The Difference Between 3D Food Printers and Regular 3D Printers

    To understand how 3D food printers work, we can first refer back to how regular 3D printers operate. Most regular 3D printers are able to release coatings and layers of 3D printing material to produce an object designed in CAD. Objects are created from the bottom up as each layer sticks together to form the shape and design. 

    3D food printers, on the other hand, are similar, but a bit more complex. 3D food printers may include the same robotic arms as normal 3D printers, as well as lasers, nozzles and other ingredient dispensers to produce intricate food designs.

    Turn off Your Stove and Turn on Your Printer

    Your 3D food printer, that is. Why use a 3D food printer when you can just cook? Consider the following benefits:

    1. 3D Food Printers Can Deliver Personalized Nutrition

    Because 3D food printers are equipped with very specific dispensers and follow strict digital instructions as they print, it may soon be possible for them to develop foods tailored to a specific diet. This would be especially helpful for individuals requiring certain levels of nutrients for their specific lifestyle, medical condition or gender.

    2. Chefs and Restaurateurs Can Enhance Their Food Production

    One of the best perks of both normal 3D printers and 3D food printers is their ability to produce effectively and quickly. By using a 3D food printer, chefs are able to develop the most complicated, intricate designs and food decorations in a faster manner than by hand. It takes many chefs years of experience to master elegant food design, but this can be easily developed with the capabilities of a 3D printer.


    Similarly, entrees can be produced quickly in larger quantities and look exactly identical to one another. This ultimately gives chefs, line cooks and other restaurant staff more time to complete other tasks that these printers are not yet capable of doing.

    3. 3D Food Printers Could Improve Sustainability

    3D printing is already a more inexpensive way to prototype designs, so it makes sense that food printers would also serve as a sustainable way to produce healthy food. As 3D printers become more commonplace, the initial cost of the technology may come down, giving more populations access to an efficient way to cook.

    Researchers have also found that 3D food printers using hydrocolloids may also be able to replace some ingredients of many dishes with more renewable sources, like algae or grass. This, too, helps drive down the cost of food production while also producing healthy meals.

    Cook up Your Next Design with the SpaceMouse Enterprise Kit

    One of the best ways to create the next intricate food design or recipe is through an efficient two-handed workflow, which is possible with the SpaceMouse Enterprise Kit. The kit is a bundle of CAD hardware and tools that help make designing in CAD easier, faster and more ergonomically friendly.

    Included in the kit is the SpaceMouse Enterprise and CadMouse. These mice are created specifically for CAD users and work together to create detailed, accurate designs. The SpaceMouse positions and maneuvers your model while the CadMouse is used to select and create accurately.

    Also included is the CadMouse Pad for uninterrupted movement, a twin-port USB hub and the 3DxWare 10 software driver, which allows you to customize the mice included within the kit.

    3Dconnexion CadMouse Wireless

    Photo Credit: Creative Tools

    Tags: Design, Creativity, 3D CAD