Star Trek fans will be instantly familiar with the replicator’s ability to synthesise meals on demand. But what if, in a science fiction-like universe, printing out your lunch was possible… right now? This is Foodini, it’s an Android powered 3D printer for food, and if you have $999 (around R10 500) then you can be in line to get one through the KickStarter campaign running right now.
At first glance Foodini can appear daunting to those who are either inexperienced in the kitchen or world of 3D printing, but the WiFi connected printer has a 7-inch touchscreen that allows you to browse through an online catalogue of recipes and demos that can be saved into a personal recipe box.
Foodini is capable of printing anything from an intricate chocolate lattice to a pizza, and even filled ravioli. 3D printers, like ink printers, require you to buy plastic filament to print out your creations, the beauty of Foodini is that it uses regular food ingredients which you put into a set of reusable capsules to create the 3D printed dishes. Foodini can handle up to five of the 123ml capsules at once and will automatically switch between them while printing out the dish.
Since Foodini doesn’t cook the ingredients there will still be dishes that need more work once printed out, a pizza for example, but this limitation also allows for some creativity in creating chocolate Christmas trees and a set of dinosaur shaped veggies to entice kids to eat them.
With 28 days still to go and more than $40 000 of the total $100 000 goal already reached, the Foodini is almost certain to become a reality in kitchens sometime in 2015. However, if you simply cannot wait and are willing to double up on the costs by donating $2 000 or more (R21 000), you can be first in line to get your Foodini in October, three months before the rest of the world.[Source and images: Kickstarter]