There’s no denying that the country of Israel has played a heavy role in the contentious development of 3D printing technology. There are a number of examples that prove Israel’s involvement in state-of-the-art additive manufacturing techniques, from the locally-based electronic 3D printing company Nano Dimension’s expansion across the global market to Xjet’s development with inkjet liquid metal 3D printing. The Israeli military has revamped both their old fighter planes and new drone technology with 3D printing as well, while last year the city of Haifa became the home to the largest Fab Lab in the world.
All in all, there’s been a lot of serious 3D printing innovation within this Middle Eastern country of about 8,462,000 inhabitants. But at the end of last month, inside of Jerusalem’s Sacher Park, Israel’s 3D printing and tech prowess was showcased in a light-hearted and family friendly fashion with their first-ever “Geek PicNic”. From April 25-27, the Jerusalem park was chock-full of over 150 scientifically-driven amusements, the most intriguing of which revolved around 3D printing technology. In one booth, which was headed by Israeli local Mor Yahv, excited both the minds and tastebuds of the “PicNic” attendees with a food 3D printer display, which was both extruding and cooking pancake batter simultaneously.
According to Yahav, this unique food 3D printer works with any batter-based food material. But edible 3D printing wasn’t the only exciting showcase of the technology. In a booth neighboring Yahav and his food 3D printer were distributors from the 3D Printing Center Israel, one of the leading 3D printing technology retail hubs in their country. The Israel-based 3D Printing Center offers a number of internationally known 3D printers, including the Ultimaker 2, Flashforge Creator Pro, BCN3D Sigma, and many more. At this booth, staffers were 3D printing plastic prototypes on a various selection of their machines, one of which caught the attention of Keter, a leader in plastic home and outdoor storage solutions.
“You pour the mixture into a cup that is positioned above the printer,” Yahav said. “An internal pump flows the mixture down from the cup into the syringe and the syringe draws the design. It is being made in a pan. The pan is hot, so the pancake cooks while it is being made.”
According to the members of the 3D Printing Center Israel-sponsored booth, the company purchased one of their 3D printers, which will be used to prototype different products prior to mass production. Although it isn’t exactly clear which 3D printer Keter settled on purchasing, the booth personnel gave statistics about the savings in both cost and time that the company would receive by making the switch to 3D printing their prototypes. According to the 3D Printing Center Israel team, Keter will save a great deal of money by switching to their 3D printing machines and plastic printing materials, the machine will cost about 60 NIS ($13.40) per hour to use, while the material will cost them around 100 NIS ($26.75) per kilogram. The prototypes themselves will take an average of about five hours to create, as opposed to the days and weeks it took with traditional manufacturing methods.Although 3D printing technology was heavily involved in the Geek PicNic, there were a number of other displays that were just as exhilarating for young and old attendees alike. One of the largest displays was the gigantic fire-breathing dragon robot, which was created by a group of students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in collaboration with the Flacon design factory. Kids were able to climb onboard the dragon robot and learn to control it. Other displays included the “Hand of Man” machine, which is a 26-foot-long hydraulically actuated human hand capable of picking up and crushing cars, as well as a workshop on sewing electronic components into tradition women’s handcrafts, which was geared towards getting young girls involved with tech.
At the end of the day, over 40,000 people attended the weekend-long event, proving that this first-ever Geek PicNic was a smashing success, and that, in the near future, this hands-on tech exhibition could soon become a landmark event in Israel. Do you think 3D food printers will become more common at events? Discuss in the 3D Food Printer at Geek PicNic forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: Jewish News Service]