No delivery needed, and its not DiGiorno. NASA has unveiled plans to print pizza in space. That right, printed pizza.
I have probably mentioned once or twice on this blog how I love 3D printing. 3D printing has been in the news a lot lately when someone figured out that you could print a functioning plastic gun that would pass through security. Not the best use of the technology, but predictable.
A much better use has been chocolate (and other extrudable materials) for making fantastic food.
Picking up on this theme, NASA has awarded a $125,000 grant to the Systems & Materials Research Cooperation to design a 3D printer capable of printing a pizza from 30-year shelf stable foodstuffs. SMRC built a basic food printer from a 3D chocolate printer to win the grant. The design is based on an open-source RepRap 3D printer (shown above). The 3D printer would “build-up” a pizza serving by first layering out the dough onto a heated plate then adding tomato sauce and toppings. Mmmmmm….Pizza.
So instead of plastic containers of food, members of the International Space Station will be dinning on pizza in 2014. There are a few problems to solve, such as zero g printing, but the upside is huge.
The ISS and other long term missions would only need to carry quantities of food material and have dinner printed. Sort of like a poor mans replicator.
Now if they could only print beer, everything would be perfect!
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +