Welcome to the future: 3-D printable pizza

A Texas company has won a $125,000 grant from NASA to develop technology that can print food from powder.

By Kim Peterson May 22, 2013 1:06PM
Credit: PRNewsFoto/Domino's Pizza
Caption: Try Domino's New Handmade Pan Pizza Made From Fresh, Never-Frozen Dough!The last time we checked in on 3-D printing, it was being used to make print-at-home handguns. Now the hot technology is being adapted for a more benign purpose: making pizza.

NASA has awarded a $125,000 grant to a Texas company to build a food synthesizer that can mix food and print it out in layers using a 3-D printer. One of the easiest foods to print this way is pizza, because it can be created and cooked in layers.

The potential for this technology is far-reaching. NASA is interested because it could be a way to feed astronauts who spend decades in space. But the company behind the technology, Systems & Materials Research Corp., has more ambitious ideas. If this works, an engineer at the company told Quartz, every kitchen might have a 3-D printer creating meals from a base of powders.

Here's how it works: The printer takes its ingredients from attached canisters of powdered food and oils. It combines those ingredients in a mixing chamber and uses the 3-D printer to shape the food.

With a pizza, the dough is mixed from powders and printed as the first layer. It gets cooked as it is printed, according to Quartz. Then a layer of tomato sauce is mixed and added. And so on.

We're not talking gourmet food here. But as the world's population grows and food becomes scarcer, perhaps a plan to mix powders into something edible isn't so crazy.

"I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can't supply 12 billion people sufficiently," the engineer behind the technology told Quartz. "So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food."

More on moneyNOW

Tags: DPZYUM
153Comments
May 22, 2013 2:48PM
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"But as the world's population grows and food becomes scarcer, perhaps a plan to mix powders into something edible isn't so crazy."

Correct me if I am wrong, but the base materials still have to come from somewhere. Would this really address a food shortage? Unless you come up with novel ways to isolate the base materials from non-food sources, it does not.
May 22, 2013 2:22PM
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Or you can just make a pizza. Not exactly building a spaceship here.
May 22, 2013 3:24PM
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"I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can't supply 12 billion people sufficiently," the engineer behind the technology told Quartz. "So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food."

 

How about we stop sending money to 3rd world hell holes and stop paying them to make more kids they can't feed year after year? That would help.

May 22, 2013 2:35PM
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That's how Domino's has been making their pizza for years.That's why it tastes crappy.
May 22, 2013 3:35PM
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great ,24 hr later when we take a dump...nothing but pixie dust!
May 22, 2013 4:22PM
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I hate changing the ink in my regular printer, now I going to get half way through my printed pizza and find out I'm out of cheese cartridges.  HP is going to be all over this one.
May 22, 2013 3:36PM
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 "So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food."

 

Monsanto has already been doing this for years. We have no clue what is in our food.

May 22, 2013 3:21PM
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Wait, I thought the big push in the nutrition world was to get people to go back to eating whole foods and stop eating all this processed garbage.  Now I'm supposed to be excited about being able to eat powdered pizza?  I see the logic behind NASA's application for this technology, but the rest of us would probably benefit from avoiding this stuff.
May 22, 2013 3:09PM
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I thought they were going to make pizzas the size of a cookie that you brought home, put in a "rehydrator" then a few seconds later, came out regular sized and piping hot! :)

May 22, 2013 1:23PM
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This is going to be great. Just like on Star Trek.
But I might wait until the price comes down.

May 22, 2013 2:33PM
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Dominos and other $5 chains have been making pizza out of powder for  30 years, we don't need a printer for it.
May 22, 2013 3:21PM
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Well this is one way to get me to stop eating so much pizza

 

May 22, 2013 3:29PM
May 22, 2013 2:47PM
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Ahhhh yessss...Technology!...and we Humans are only in our technological infancy!  Imagine what is yet to come. if you can, you can change the world, and become wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. All you need to do is...imagine what a future world may need, and create it.
May 22, 2013 3:38PM
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there's enough food to feed the whole planet. it's not b/c of food shortage and high population but distribution of food only going to a certain percentage of the planet.
May 22, 2013 1:44PM
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Some posters keep saying, 3D printing has been around for 20 plus years. That this isn't new, news. Well show me the 3D printer that makes pizza a Decade ago. This is big, and will only get, bigger. The tech is evolving, quickly.  Major Game Changer.
May 22, 2013 3:22PM
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Ugh this is not an image of the 3-D printed pizza, Its an image of the Domino's Handmade Pan Pizza.
May 22, 2013 3:57PM
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NOW, while it is still a "ground floor" opportunity is the PERFECT time to start investing in this new technology because I think that these printers will FLY off the shelves faster than the latest XBOX!
You may be wondering to yourself, "other than some geeks, some wanna-be astronauts and perhaps a few tech collectors, WHO ON EARTH do you seriously think would have any interest in buying something like this?"
...my prediction?...
...DOOMSDAY PREPPERS!!! 
This is the PERFECT item for preppers! They can now much more easily stock up on a whole slew of different foods simply by purchasing half a dozen or so of these 3D printers along with a ten year supply of 50-pound pails of the base-powders that these printers use! No question about it...this technology has DOOMSDAY PREPPER WRITTEN ALL OVER IT!!!
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