3D Printer Makes Perfectly Symmetrical Pizza

Photo by: Natural Machines

If you've heard about the brave new world of of 3D printing, you know that the technology will eventually be able to fabricate everything from musical instruments to clothing to body parts with the touch of a button (well, maybe it's a touch more complicated than that). Now, Barcelona-based startup Natural Machines has invented a printer to satisfy and sate rather than shock and awe: The Foodini.

The Foodini (the name derived from a combo and food and genie), is a food "printer" that aims to eliminate the laboriousness of making a meal and thus promote home cooking in a world where people eat too much pre-packaged and processed food, according to Lynette Kucsma, Natural Machines co-founder and chief marketing officer. "The hardest part of cooking is assembling the food," she tells Yahoo Shine. By streamlining the process, Kucsma explains, cooking can be simpler. The user preps the fresh ingredients, loads them into Foodini’s food capsules, and watches the machine work its magic by printing your chosen recipe.

More on Yahoo Shine: Perfect Pizza? There's a Formula for That

And the company clearly knows what's going to capture the world's attention: pizza. Though the invention will, in theory, be able to make a plethora of dishes, the company is pushing pizza printing as the wave of the future. The Foodini, its maker says, will solve the issue of uneven
dough shaping and sauce layering.

But is having equilateral dough and sauce really necessary? Isn't the most entertaining aspect of making pizza tossing that dough to the highest of heights? Maybe, but for those who find picking up the phone to order delivery or buying pre-made dough overly demanding, then the Foodini may be your sustenance savior.

Photo: Natural Machines

There is one catch, however: It's not cheap. The proposed retail price for the Foodini, which is expected to hit the market next year, will be around $1,300. As for what else the kitchen appliance of the future (which is in the process of pursuing approval with the FDA, among other agencies)  can make, the list is long and varied. It can decorate cakes, make tarts, print buns and meat for cheeseburgers and small-scale sliders, swirl out pumpkin gnocchi, print cheesecake bites and make bread. The tool can also customize food and plates with designs.

More on Yahoo: NASA Awards Grant for 3D Food Printer; Could it End World Hunger?

Natural Machines isn't alone in its attempts to print food. Earlier this year, NASA awarded a $125,000 grant to mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor to create a prototype of a printer that uses powder and oil cartridges to make food. NASA hopes that Contractor's invention will one day act as a sustenance system for astronauts on long space missions. Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, meanwhile, have created the "Cornucopia," a series of 3D printing models that use food canisters to assemble a meal at the touch of a screen.

Alas, none of the inventors have yet to reach sci-fi dystopian status where food magically appears on a plate. "Our machine is not one button push technology like the Star Trek "replica,"" Kucsma says. Something to look forward to, I guess.