The next part we decided to investigate was how could we impact society in beneficial ways with the 3D printer. As following our initial discovery with the algae, we decided to keep exploring highly localised problems that 3D printing could help with in order to get more nutrients through vegetable and fruit produce to consumers, who presumably, when this technology becomes viable, will be in in highly urbanised environments.
Biozoon creates pureed foods for the elderly that are highly personalised and 3D printed. However… the presentation is… not super fantastic?
Interesting Problems That This Poses
This is food that is gel and disguised, almost, as if it is not what it is – highly medicated supplements. Disguising food in other food is especially prevalent in childhood as they are encouraged to eat healthily but often display reluctance. It has been shown however, that rewarding children with junk food, or disguising it within other food, however, is not conducive to fostering a positive relationship with healthy food.
Children and Individuals – Why Not?
Although conducted for non edible 3D printing and in a classroom setting with older children, it was shown in a Greek study that people that learnt through the use of 3D printing to explore concepts for themselves (Kostakis 2014). Interactivity also allows the story of food preparation to become more compelling which might allow users to have better experiences with food (Wei et al. 2012), allowing satisfaction, which could foster better relations between parents and children if children are given more autonomy to explore their food choices within safe confines or their parents guidance.
If food was not disguised to look like something else – but rather it was acknowledged to be 3D printed – would that allow people to be more creative in playing with it? Would children be more comfortable eating their vegetables if they had some degree of choice over something that usually they dislike a lot?
It’s possible to bring this consumer side as using a novel combination of gums and gelatin, flavours and agents, a broad range of foods can be simulated with few materials, but it is critical that this technology comes down in price and remains open source like the Fab@Home (Cohen et al 2009). Custom made attractive foods are created by highly paid and highly skilled artisans but 3D printing can bridge that gap (Periard et al. 2007).
- Should presentation be super awesome and that affect how it works?
- What are all the potential problems and benefits that can arise from this?
- What is our core user group and their needs?
Cohen, Daniel L., et al. “Hydrocolloid printing: a novel platform for customized food production.” Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium. 2009.
Kostakis, Vasilis, Vasilis Niaros, and Christos Giotitsas. “Open source 3D printing as a means of learning: An educational experiment in two high schools in Greece.” Telematics and Informatics (2014).
Periard, Dan, et al. “Printing Food.” Proceedings of the 18th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin TX. 2007.
Wei, Jun, and Adrian David Cheok. “Foodie: play with your food promote interaction and fun with edible interface.” Consumer Electronics, IEEE Transactions on 58.2 (2012): 178-183.