Update from April 04, 2023: Researchers have 3D printed a cake. We wanted to know from you: Would you eat the piece of cake from the 3D printer? And the answer was clear: almost three quarters (73 percent) would have treated themselves to the play. 19 percent found the printed treat unappetizing and would have rejected it. 8 percent of users don’t eat cake at all but wanted to see the result.
(Evaluation on April 4th, 2023 at 11:38 a.m., votes cast: 210)
Hand on heart: Who says no to a delicious piece of cake? Exactly, hardly anyone (assuming you can tolerate all the ingredients). But what does the answer to this question look like once the cake comes out of the 3D printer? You can find a suitable survey at the end of this article.
But why all this? Because mechanical engineers at Columbia University actually managed to print a piece of cake – using natural ingredients, so no synthetics. In doing so, however, they encountered problems that are otherwise only known from building houses.
Fused Deposition Modeling?
That’s the name of the technique that was used to build cakes using prints. It is commonly used in the manufacture of plastic. Layer by layer, the mass is applied and heated.
The following seven ingredients were used for the cake from the 3D printer:
- Graham cracker dough
- peanut butter
- Strawberry jam
- banana puree
- cherry juice
Here’s how the process works: The 3D printer uses syringes and nozzles to build up the cake layer by layer. In between, a laser heats through the cake layers that need to be baked. Bon appetit, the dessert is ready.
Static is half the cake
The problem: Depending on the density and texture of the ingredients, the layers may have slipped or flowed apart.
The solution: As with building a house, load-bearing walls must be drawn around and into the cake. That’s where the soft ingredients come in. What weighs the most goes at the bottom, and the piece of cake gets lighter at the top.
It took six failures until the seventh piece of cake finally achieved the piece of cake:
link to YouTube content
Just a gimmick?
You could safely dismiss the whole thing as a waste of food, but for the engineers this is an important step towards modern food preparation.
People who are only allowed to eat certain foods, picky children or nursing homes could benefit from the process. After the successful cake, Columbia University will now focus on lattice structures and new combinations of ingredients. Enjoy!
We will pass on the question asked at the beginning of this article to you in the form of a survey. We are curious what your opinion on this is!
Cakes from the printer, synthetic meat substitutes: what sounded like science fiction for a long time is increasingly becoming reality. Are we seeing the early steps of future food preparation? Do you think food printing has unbeatable benefits? Or would you rather use pots and pans and use the wooden spoon yourself? Let us know both through the poll and in the comments!