Perfectly-iced cupcakes and cookies without cookie cutters—3D printing is coming to the kitchen. And while it may take some time for you to get your hands on a cupcake printer of your own, rest assured: the tech community is working on it.
There’s tremendous potential for 3D-printed food; from printing designs, company logos or messages onto cupcakes and cookies for events or parties, to printing true 3D objects out of chocolate, like bride and groom cake toppers, architectural forms and Minecraft creations (ask your young kids about eating their Minecraft creations, and see how they react).
Traditional 3D printing works like a computer-controlled glue gun. The printer heats up a plastic thread and squeezes out a very thin, two-dimensional layer onto a horizontal platform. As successive layers are added on top of the last, a 3D shape takes form. 3D food printing is done the same way, but with icing or cookie batter instead of plastic—basically anything that can be squeezed through a tube.
It may be a while until it’s practical for your kitchen, but in the meantime keep a lookout for local hands-on workshops and demos in your city.
Jonathan Moneta is Creative Lead at MakeLab, an events technology studio in Toronto that runs regular workshops in 3D printing and digital creativity. To learn more about Jonathan, follow him on Twitter.