|3D printer schema|
Systems and Material Research Corporation (SMRC) in Austin Texas have been given a grant of $125,000 to develop 3D printed food for astronauts.
The first device Contractor plans to build under the six-month grant is based on RepRap's open-source hardware and will be designed to print a pizza comprised of three layers of nutritional powders mixed with water and oil. As the final frontier gets further and further away, NASA's need for a nutritious, long-lasting food supply suitable for space travel grows. Since the powders used in Contractor's design -- potentially sourced from insects, grass and algae -- have a shelf life of about 30 years, his 3D food printer would be well-suited to the task. If your appetite's survived the idea of snacks made from pulverized insects, you can watch the grant-winning prototype print some synthesized chocolate after the break.
The challenge for SMRC is to produce a prototype that can “synthesise” healthy and tasty food that will beat the dehydrated meals currently eaten by the astronauts. The plan is to use a combination of 3d printing, which will provide macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat needed for calories or energy) and inkjet printing, which will provide the flavour, smell and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
In order to make sure the food actually tastes and smells of what it is supposed to be, SMRC are also working along with the food science program at North Carolina State University. Who knows maybe it will receive a Michelin Star!
If this works, then there will be no need to take along full pre-packed meals. Instead they will be able to take just generic or basic ingredients which can then be printed into a meal.
Soon food can be downloaded with the aid of a 3d food printer over the internet :D, I'm loving this.
Source: engadget, techbeat
Labels: Tech News