From Singapore to the USA and all around Europe, Edible Innovations profiles food makers that engage in improving the global food system at every stage, from production to distribution to eating and shopping. Join us as we explore the main trends in the industry from a maker perspective. Chiara Cecchini of Future Food Institute — an ecosystem with a strong educational core that promotes food innovation as a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future — introduces you to the faces, stories, and experiences of food makers around the globe. Check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for new installments.
Today we sit down with an encouraging maker in the food space, Luis Rodriguez.
A 33-year-old Spanish creator and proud husband, Rodriguez founded 3DigitalCooks. 3DigitalCooks is a studio focused on 3D printing food, and exploring the concept with several activities based on education, research, and consulting.
Luis, how did you get start?
Everything started as a hobby, where I was just learning and having fun. Five years ago, I built my first 3D printer. It was quite sloppy. It used to break often and needed long hours of hacking. As you can imagine, I had to spend a lot of money on parts and materials. Eventually, I just closed my tiny woodshop so I wouldn’t go broke. I wanted to keep getting my hands on 3D printers, but I needed to find a cheaper printing material to source. That was the moment when I started playing around with the idea of 3D printing food.
Great! So, what happened next?
Well, honestly, the magic moment didn’t arrive until my first Maker Faire. I was showing off how to print yogurt and jelly. It was nothing special from my perspective, but I got a lot of feedback from people who were full of energy, appreciation, and great pieces of advice! I realized, that through food, I was able to connect with people in a totally new way. I didn’t need the right words, just the confidence to share my work.
I am an introvert and shy person. So being able to connect with people in such an easy way was, and still is, what keeps me doing this.
3D FOOD PRINTING IS AWESOME!!
So, what are you doing now with 3DigitalCooks?
I am basically having a lot of fun sharing content and research on 3D printing food. My mission is to get people involved in a technology that will change the world. I share my content, projects, and ideas. Furthermore, I consult and run educational programs on 3D printing food. And, of course, I get to be the very first one to experiment every single day!
I do believe that the technology is not completely there yet, but that’s why we need to keep working on it. I share all my knowledge because I think I can contribute to us getting there, as well as empower all of the food makers out there with what I’ve learned so far about the topic.
This is amazing Luis. So, would you like to share a piece of advice with our makers interested in the food space?
Sure! I do believe 3D printing can have a actual impact on how we relate to food. My experience at Maker Faire can happen every day when you’re working with something like food.
I do not consider myself a “Maker Pro,” but I like to share! I start from the assumption that someone will need what I have to say. I have currently built five machines dedicated to printing food, and have designed several extruder, applications, and recipes. My YouTube channel hosts plenty of videos that document my 3D printing adventures, tutorials, and experiments with printing food.
Amazing! What are your next steps?
My entrepreneurial journey has been challenging in some parts. My personal philosophy is to always “Do what you like and be aware that making money takes time. Plan for that, and make sure to enjoy the process!”
So, following this line of thought, I believe my next step is to open a school devoted to 3D printing food! I mean, why not?