A new 3D printer is on Kickstarter!
Okay. That's not news. There are almost always 3D printers on Kickstarter. However, this is a food printer and that is news.
A group of individuals from the outskirts of Munich, Germany are crowdfunding the Bocusini 3D food printing system, an Printrbot-based 3D printer with a special print head, extrudable food cartridges, a custom user interface and a supporting website for creative food designs and recipes.
They have tried to make using the system as simple as possible. The WiFi printer is plug & play and designs can be dragged and dropped from the web platform or created on a smart device. The prefilled food cartridges are similar to a large syringe. Load them into the print head and the food material is pressure extruded onto the print bed, or onto an object already on the print bed, such as a premade cookie.
The Bocusini team explains that the principle of food printing is nothing more than a very precise automatically controlled pastry bag. It is fairly clear the goal is to draw in food makers as opposed to just 3D printing fans. They have tried to remove all possible intimidating technical factors.
The 60 ml food cartridges are based on natural foods and designed by food scientists and chefs. After the campaign, the team intends to acquire approvals and certifications for their food products. They don't foresee problems in this area, but any time a government entity is involved, timing can be difficult to predict. On the bright side, empty food cartridges can be filled with any extrudable matter such as melted chocolate, cookie dough or frosting, so individuals are free unleash their own experimental recipes of printing materials.
The user interface isn't quite finished. For testing and the Kickstarter demo they used Doodle3D's design and printing app, which means the printer will run on Doodle3D even if the team never finishes their own interface. It will also run on other open source printer control software, such as MatterControl or Cura.
The Bocusini Junior has a 100 x 100 x 100 mm print area. The Bocusini Pro is slightly larger, at 150 x 150 x 150 mm. Pledges start as low as $278 for a "hacker's" kit. A fully assembled Pro unit runs $1,115.
Have an old printer you would like to convert? You're in luck if you have a Printrbot Simple or Metal Simple, or an Ultimaker 2. Retrofit kits are available to convert these printers to use the Bocusini print head.