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Cornucopia: Digital Gastronomy is a project by two grad students working in MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Group. The goal: a consumer-friendly machine that prints food. (Spork not included…)

Cornucopia is a concept design for a personal food factory that brings the versatility of the digital world to the realm of cooking. In essence, it is a three dimensional printer for food, which works by storing, precisely mixing, depositing and cooking layers of ingredients.

Cornucopia’s cooking process starts with an array of food canisters, which refrigerate and store a user’s favorite ingredients. These are piped into a mixer and extruder head that can accurately deposit elaborate combinations of food. While the deposition takes place, the food is heated or cooled by Cornucopia’s chamber or the heating and cooling tubes located on the printing head. This fabrication process not only allows for the creation of flavors and textures that would be completely unimaginable through other cooking techniques, but it also allows the user to have ultimate control over the origin, quality, nutritional value and taste of every meal.

[via the Shapeways blog]


John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal


    This is the star-trek replicator alpha?

  • vcx

    So did they try to make it look like it only make martinis?


    It’s a FLDSMDFR!!!

    • jeff-o

      LOL, I was going to say the same thing. I’ve watched that movie three times since my daughter got her hands on it. :D

  • alandove

    Mmmmm, soylent green.

  • James Jones

    This looks much more polished than my effort ( mine is paycheck funded at present ;-) Eventually, I hope mine will print one food though: Meat! the ethical steak printer Beef (or Chicken) cells printed like this: “Its what’s printing for dinner”

  • Robb Smith

    So you want to print off Thanksgiving dinner. You start with what, raw turkey slurry? Celery and mushroom slurry? Wheat slurry in place of bread cubes?

    Members of the Slow Food movement around the planet will be stroking out and falling face first into their coq au vin over this one.

  • air max

    soon another day will down

  • GT

    This technology is proceeding apace (although at sub-Moore’s-Law speed for now). I first got excited about the prospect of this sort of thing back in the early 90s, when I saw an interview with some guy who pointed out that a cow was a (very wasteful, inefficient) machine for turning grass, water and sunlight into meat (or milk)… and that it made more sense to start with the grass and do stuff directly. 

    From there to reading Drexler’s “Engines of Creation” and watching the progress of nanotech (and advances in materials tech generally), it became clear to me that one day we would look upon the system of animal farming of the 20th/21st century with even more disgust than our view of the slave-based industrial model the 18th and 19th. After all, our forebears didn’t slash their slaves to pieces and eat chunks of them.

    Sudo print me a steak, dammit.

  • Anonymous

    This is awesome, mind-blowing technology but it i’m afraid it’ll have terrible effects on society. Future generations will forget how to cook! We’ll have machines cooking in restraunts! Where is that HUMAN TOUCH? I believe that cooking by hand ….. by ourselves gives food a unique taste. It allows us to cook new food. It may sound primitive but it’s true. We’ll won’t learn the skill of cooking! We’ll become so lazy that we’ll probably end up like those fat sludgy people in Wall-E. I’ve aldready observed that people seem to getting shorter with every generation. o_O This is weird but very true. When I was in grade 9 I was about 5’8″…. now in grade 11 i’m about 6″ … all the new grade niners are about 5’4! And this is not just in my school. I believe that we should develop new exciting technology and also analyse it effects at an equal pace. 

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