3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems has gobbled up yet another startup and this time it's a very sweet deal. They've just purchased The Sugar Lab, a business devoted to printing personalized sugar sculptures. The Sugar Lab was already using 3D Systems' Color Jet Printing (CJP) technology to print its creations out of sugar combined with edible flavored binders. The company has been getting a lot of positive press recently and apparently the opportunity was attractive enough for 3D Systems to not only notice, but to take the idea and run with it. "The Sugar Lab's printing technique will be immediately integrated with 3D's existing lineup of professional and consumer content-to-print platforms," 3D Systems said in their recent press release. They plan to use it for "a variety of production-quality applications as well as the ability to 3D print indulgences at home."
Does that mean that we may one day see a Cube-like consumer food printer sold in major retail outlets? Only time will tell. Still, Liz von Hasseln, co-founder of the Sugar Lab was excited about the way 3D systems plans to move forward with their idea. "We see our technology quickly evolving into a variety of flavors and foods, powered by real food printers for professionals and consumers alike." The Sugar Lab is already producing a variety of personalized wedding cake toppers, sculptures and edible corporate logos. With 3D systems behind them the Los Angeles based startup is poised to take a big leap.
3D Systems isn't the only corporation playing around with the idea of printable food though; NASA is working on it, FabLab has an open source model and a variety of designers have been early adopters of the technology. Just how far will 3D Systems evolve 3D printed food technology? It's simply too early to tell. In the words of the infamous Iron Chef Chairman Kaga, all we can say to this announcement is, "Allez Cuisine!"