The day when every kitchen has a 3D printer may be distant, but in 2015 at least a few cooks will be using such machines—thanks to a Barcelona-based startup that plans to sell the “Foodini” for approximately $1,300 starting late next year.
Advertised as the first 3D food printer that can prepare an extensive range of sweet and savory items, the Foodini is intended for “both professional kitchen users and home kitchen users,” according to the company’s website. It has re-usable stainless steel capsules that cooks fill with fresh ingredients, based on pre-selected recipes, before printing begins.
CNN reports that the startup, Natural Machines, is also working with more than one big food company to create pre-filled plastic capsules that can be loaded into the Foodini. This sounds similar to the Keurig K-cup coffee system: load the ingredient pod, program the machine, et voila!
The plan is for the pre-loaded Foodini capsules to contain ”fresh, real” ingredients. They will be free of preservatives and won’t have long shelf lives.
Natural Machines’ mission statement says, “One of our goals is to streamline some of cooking’s more rote activities – forming dough into a dozen breadsticks, or filling and forming individual ravioli – to encourage more people to eat healthy foods.”
As far as we can tell, the Foodini will work best as an alternative to store-bought packaged foods such as cookies, crackers, pasta, and frozen pizza.
Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of Natural Machines, told CNN the Foodini will be an “internet-of-things, connected kitchen appliance”; its touchscreen control panel will have access to a recipe site in the cloud, and users will also be able to program the machine remotely with their smartphones.
If Natural Machines can deliver on what it’s promising here, food printers might one day be as mainstream as microwaves.