These days, 3D printers are able to do almost anything, include print out synthetic human organs, as well as the chassis parts of automobiles. However, to date, these high-tech printers, which work by printing thin layers until a finished product is produced, do not produce foods
In the future, 3D printer technology may evolve and these printers may have the capacity to produce edible products. Scientists and engineers are already working on this!
So, let’s think about the answer to the question, “Will food ever be created by 3D printers?”
Will Astronauts Get 3D Printed Food?
Astronauts, have, to date, been severely restricted in terms of what they can eat while they’re up in orbit. After all, space food must have special requirements, such as the ability to be re-hydrated and reconstituted.
While spacemen and women may indulge in beef steaks, coffee and salmon (to name just a few current meal and drink options), there are things that they want to eat which can’t be taken into space.
3D printer technology may change this and fresher, tastier foods may be at astronaut’s fingertips, because they may print this type of food out themselves while they’re up in shuttles or other spacecraft…
One company, AstroGo, won a NASA “Print Your Own Space Food” contest, due to its innovative approach to 3D printed technology. AstroGo was comprised of Cal Tech students who showed that food may be grown in space, via pods which act as artificial growing environments. The pods that they displayed were crafted via 3D printing technology.
One reason why the space program is so important is because it sparks so much new technology. In the future, programs which allow astronauts to grow their own food will undoubtedly feature technology which trickles down to the masses i.e. you and me.
Will 3D Printers Feed the World?
It will likely be decades before 3d printer technology evolves sufficiently to feed the world. After all, large cash outlays are required in order to build and run 3D printers. In addition, other issues, such as infrastructure and distribution, will also factor in to things.
However, over the coming years, it should be possible to at least create growing environments which are crafted from 3D technology. These pods or other growing environments may make it easier to grow foods without the usual concerns and pitfalls, such as harsh weather and pests.
So, the future is bright when it comes to 3D food printing technology.