What is the relationship between 3D printing and food production? My question has changed, but my plan is still the same; to print a completely edible 3D object. I’m doing this because I believe that it eliminates the use of plastic, even a biodegradable plastic substitute, and creates an item that can ultimately be returned to the earth without doing extreme damage. I’m also interested in why the shape of an item reflects the action that we feel we should take. I have a feelings of insecurity, I’m afraid this experiment won’t work. There are fully functional 3D food printers on the market, but because of money, I’m forced to approach this project in a do-it-your-self fashion. It is rewarding to be completely hands-on in the process of creation, experimentation and success/failure, it also makes everything so much more personal. I feel like I’m pregnant and the possibility of a miscarriage is constantly on my mind. Even if the extruder that I’m downloading and printing from thingiverse doesn’t work I will just go back to the drawing board and try again, or manipulate the design that I downloaded. The reason I’m using thingiverse is because I have no idea how to create an extruder, I really appreciate the design that I have found and really hope it works. This will not affect the learning process because the core focus of my project is to print food. I’m using the design to support my final product, you can find the extruder that I’m trying to building and printing by following this link http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20733

I’m curious about the production of food and how it’s made, and how I might feel more connected to what I’m eating because I designed it. Will other people feel a different connection to my item because they know that I made it? Because they know that they can eat it? Some food, like beer has deep roots to cultures across the globe, although its birth is hard to place in a timeline there was a beer goddess in Sumer called Ninkasi (Kim). What is the history of the filament I’m going to use? What culture is it connected to? These questions arose as I furthered my research, it’s surprising going through Kim’s history of processed food and reading its cultural origin. “My definition of ‘fresh’ is something that’s rushed from the garden straight to the kitchen, which is when food is going to look and taste best. (Clydesdale 6).” I’ve been asking a lot of questions but these questions took shape while I was doing my research. Clydesdale made me wonder; will my 3D printed edible objects be considered, “fresh?” I am actually excited to say, “here is your freshly printed (insert random object here).” Maybe 3D printing could be used to fight the obesity epidemic, a program could be made that will, “Change the way people buy food, it will change the way they consume food, and it will change the way they think about food (Claudia).” What’s most surprising by my research and how it compares to the research I had done initially is that there are already 3D food printers on the market.

Most of my sources didn’t directly tie into my question, although there was some interesting sources I found on peoples opinions of processed food and the history of it. Processed food originated from trying to find a way to preserve food (Clydesdale 6), which has an interesting relationship to my idea. I’m thinking about using a filament that will not be processed already, something organic and surprising. Finding a filament that I find personally important has been difficult for me, chocolate seems like the clear-cut answer but I would like to use multiple filaments.

Overall my research unearthed that 3D printed food is alive and well, and that it has a market. As to some of my earlier questions mentioned in paragraph two, I was unable to find a solid answer. I now know that what I’m doing isn’t as revolutionary as I once thought, but I’ve found inspiration in what I’ve read. There is new and emerging technology surrounding my idea , I can’t wait to see where it will be headed. My original idea still remains the same after all of my research. I’ve become more interested in food production but I believe that’s due to the progress of my project; I’m slowly identifying as a, “food processor.” This identification also makes me feel like a preservationist, which is interesting because my objects will be eaten. Is 3D printing essentially about preservation? I’m both excited and afraid of what will happen next in my 3D printing journey, hopefully I’ll be able to print edible objects that will visually and tastefully delight people.




.Works Sited


Kim, Evelyn. “The Amazing Multimillion-Year History Of Processed Food.” Scientific American 309.3 (2013): 50-55. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.


Clydesdale, Fergus M. “Food Processing Demystified.” Consumer Reports On Health 23.11 (2011): 6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.


Claudia, Puig, @claudiapuig, and TODAY USA. “Food for thought from Katie Couric.” USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.


Kim, Sandra, Matt Golding, and Richard H. Archer. “The Application Of Computer Color Matching Techniques To The Matching Of Target Colors In A Food Substrate: A First Step In The Development Of Foods With Customized Appearance.” Journal Of Food Science 77.6 (2012): S216-S225. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Nov. 2014


What We’re 3D Printing Now: Valentine’s Day.” Architect 103.2 (2014): 30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.