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3D printing opportunities in the world of printing food is still a bit obscure and not talked about as much. But this doesn't mean some elements of printing food isn't already here. Two printers have just been revealed recently that are now the first two printers ready for a private kitchen and eerily resemble a microwave. Previewed at the CES show earlier this year, the ChefJet and ChefJet Pro are made for professional chefs and bakeries rather than the consumer market. Regardless, how many more years will it be before microwaves make way for 3D printers creating food?
As for bakeries and chefs, acquiring a 3D printer to print food might feel a little strange right now. Out of all careers, the culinary arts still take pride in making things from scratch as part of a tradition going back hundreds of years. And with the above 3D printers going for well over $5000 and $10,000, respectively, smaller bakeries and chefs with limited budgets probably won't budge right now on buying one. What happens when they do, though?
The above printers are noteworthy because they're specifically designed to create sugary confections rather than any other food. While you might want to start your own conspiracy about 3D printers getting people to eat sugar first, it's still amazing how artful these printers make different desserts. Using a binding technique with granular materials, it works differently from other 3D printers creating food. Others had previously used tubes to squirt out individual ingredients that would blend into something cohesive and edible.
These dessert printers basically combine the techniques of normal desktop 3D printers that create regular objects. You can design cookies and different candies into virtually any shape you want. In fact, you can easily create candies and other confections that would cost so much more to produce in a factory or through a major candy producer.
The only question left is when will they start becoming mainstream, and will people have one in their own kitchen by the coming decade?
There isn't a doubt prices will go down within a short time for the above printers. Once they do, anyone owning a bakery or a restaurant could immediately save money on hiring food preparers, plus make food in half the time. That should be a great sign for bakeries and restaurants, because their failure rates are usually high due to overhead costs.
If you own a bakery, imagine the things you could make on these printers to give you a unique brand nobody else has. It's not going to stop at just desserts either, and we'll likely see similar microwave-size 3D printers for healthier food down the road. Then everyone can become designer chefs without having to go to culinary school. This doesn't mean the art of cuisine won't still survive alongside 3D printers as they work together to bring food perfection.