Printing Food

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Date

2007-08-21

Authors

Periard, Dan
Schaal, Noy
Schaal, Maor
Malone, Evan
Lipson, Hod

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Abstract

This paper examines the possible applications of food as a raw material in freeform fabrication, and provides several demonstrations of edible three-dimensional objects. The use of edible materials offers several advantages: First, it opens the door to the application of SFF technology in custom food industry, such as manufacturing of complex confections with specialized geometries and intricate material compositions. For pedagogical purposes, edible materials provide an easily accessible, nontoxic and low cost way to experiment with rapid prototyping techniques using educational systems such as Fab@Home. For more traditional SFF technologies, food materials with appropriate rheological properties can serve as sacrificial, bio-degradable, bio-compatible or recyclable materials for structural support and draft-printing. We have used the Fab@Home personal fabrication system to produce multi-material edible 3D objects with cake frosting, chocolate, processed cheese, and peanut butter. These are just indicative of the range of potential edible materials and applications.

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