Category Archives

4 Articles

3D Food Printing

by Mick 0 Comments

In the fictional TV series Star Trek a replicator is used to create the food of your choice. This Science Fiction device could be closer to reality following a project by a team from the Computational Synthesis Lab at Cornell University.

Its based on the Fab@Home 3D Printer platform, using hydrocolloids (xanthium gums and gelatin) and flavour additives as the printing materials which are loaded into syringes and placed on the printer head.

Read an interesting article on the 3D Food Printer by Designboom at

and see it in action at

There's a technical paper Hydrocolloid Printing: A Novel Platform for Customized Food Production at

Other Links

Fab@Home is an open-source project that provides the designs and tools necessary to build your own 3D printer. The Fab@Home website  is at

Printing Body Parts

A 3D bio-printing machine has been developed by Organovo, and is intended for use in the manufacture of human tissues and organs.

'Scientists and engineers can use the 3D bio printers to enable placing cells of almost any type into a desired pattern in 3D,' said Murphy. 'Researchers can place liver cells on a preformed scaffold, support kidney cells with a co-printed scaffold, or form adjacent layers of epithelial and stromal soft tissue that grow into a mature tooth. Ultimately the idea would be for surgeons to have tissue on demand for various uses, and the best way to do that is get a number of bio-printers into the hands of researchers and give them the ability to make three dimensional tissues on demand.'

An associated video is available from the TED series ( )

at about 10:56 in to the video you can watch a modified inkjet printer at work printing a 'heart'.

Perhaps it should be known as a replicator rather than a 3D printer though


Fab@Home is another project for making and using 3D printers, or rapid prototyping machines, and provides all the information necessary to build or buy your own machine that you can use to print 3-dimensional objects.


Total estimated cost for all materials required for the whole build is around $2300.00

Best of

It's that time of year when we start to read a lot about "the best of 2007" and "things to watch for 2008".

One of my own favourites, which I noticed during 2007, is the 3D printer from Desktop Factory.


This is a printer which "prints" 3D models (to a maximum size of 5x5x5 inches), from a composite plastic powder at an estimated cost of about $1 per cubic inch.

What attracted my attention to this device was the price - at $4995 its a fraction of the cost of typical industrial machines and brings it (almost) within reach of the home (hobbyist) user.

Currently the web-site is offering the opportunity to "reserve" one of these printers - so it is not clear when they will actually be shipping the product, but if they can meet this price band its surely a winner - now I'm just waiting for the $500 3D printer