NASA Is Funding A Project On Making 3-D Food Printer Prototype (+VIDEO)
Systems & Materials Research Corporation has lately received a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to make a prototype of his universal food synthesizer, a 3D food printer. The company’s director Anjan Contractor claims that in future there will be a 3D printer in every kitchen, and the earth’s 12 billion people will 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. Then there will be no food waste anymore, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years (the moisture will be taken out), 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. Contractor’s 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, even to Mars, which may last up to 15 years. Within two weeks Contractor will start building a pizza printer, which is at the conceptual stage at the moment. Contractor believes that in future, each recipe will be a set of instructions that tells the printer which cartridge of powder to mix with which liquids, and at what rate and how it should be sprayed, one layer at time. It is planned to keep the software portion of the 3D printer entirely open-source, so that anyone can look at its code, take it apart, understand it, and tweak recipes to fit. One of the biggest advantages of this device is that it ensures personalized nutrition: you can program a 3D printer and it will print exactly the nutrients you need. You can learn more about the project at qz.com.