Mechanical engineer with the convenient name Anjan Contractor is working on a printer that would use “basic ‘building blocks’ of food in replaceable powder cartridges,” to make foodstuffs. Kind of a bummer it needs “basic building blocks” instead of just creating edible matter out of nothing, but you know, physics be crazy.
Pizza is just an example of what the 3D printer can do–likely because it seems easy to ‘print’ being flat and mostly uniform–but the printer will be able to do all kinds of different foods (within reason, hopefully we’re years away from it printing like, an entire turkey.)
Currently the device is in development for use by astronauts on long-distance journeys (hence the NASA funding, $125,000,) but eventually the developers hope to use 3D printed foods in impoverished areas: the printers would be able to easily create food with little to no waste in a small space with little labor.
Contractor proved the basic concept of his project by printing chocolate:
Pizza is Contractor’s next hurdle. I honestly wanted to take an anti-3D printed pizza stance, just to be contrarian because everyone else already supports it, but come on: this is it, the entire fields of invention and engineering can hang up their science hats because they finished, they are done with the ultimate goal of science.
There are already pizza vending machines and I, your intrepid pizza technology specialist, have even used one. They’re pretty cool–you put in your money and your choices and out pops a pizza that the machine created–you can even watch the pizza cooking through a little window. The pizza is actually pretty good, comparable to what you’d get in your average not-New-York-not-Chicago strip mall pizza joint, or like Greek pizza.
Hopefully it’ll only be a few years before you can finally cut out ALL human interaction (you don’t even have to make eye contact with the pizza guy anymore!) It’s 2020: you skip the phone, skip Seamless, and just print your own pizza, to be devoured by the glow of your computer screen as you delve into Friends, season 5, which has finally been added to Netflix.