Talk about fast food…how about designing your own custom popsicles and printing them out in less than two seconds per pop?
If you think this sounds like something out of “Star Trek,” think again. It’s the latest offering from award-winning artist and 3D printing maverick Janne Kyttanen, who just launched a private beta version of his new food tech startup, Pixsweet. Kyttanen is the CEO of Pixsweet’s California-based parent company, What The Future Venture Capital, which is focused on creating startups based on bringing high-end design and technology to the everyman. It brings to mind this Kickstarter campaign from January 2016, for a 3D printed food café and catering business by SCOFF3D.
Pixsweet is described as a “3D food customization platform and marketplace,” connecting consumers and culinary designers. Kyttanen, a digital sculptor whose work has been featured in TIME Magazine’s “Design 100,” says they decided to create their own tech from scratch, due to 3D printed foods currently on the market having fundamental problems in speed, scale, material selection, handling, and price. Pixsweet is a direct result of Kyttanen’s desire to bring next level creative customization to a product that has hardly changed in the 100 years since its inception: the popsicle. He wanted to give 3D designers the ability to change the popsicle’s classic shape into…well, pretty much whatever they want.
Kyttanen told 3DPrint.com, “Most people and the companies who have ventured down developing 3D printed foods haven’t really taken the time to analyze the markets and their business models. Whilst most 3D printing companies’ business models are based on a razor blade model, who is going to spend $200 for a kilo of sugar?”
Creating a global food brand used to be expensive. Pixsweet’s objective is to empower local tastemakers with this 3D food design platform, boosting their businesses with modern offerings. Kyttanen says his inspiration began in his sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), thinking he’d like to empower everyone to be a designer in mediums other than the creation of museum pieces. He realized the solution was not about bringing 3D printers into people’s homes, but rather in delivering a platform that makes it quick and easy to be creative with inexpensive materials like natural sugar syrups, fruits, and water, instead of expensive metals and plastics.
Speaking of the edible materials, Pixsweet’s first Tastemaker, the Mom & Pop Shop, has provided them with five exclusive ice pop flavors:
- Coco Yum: coconut milk, coconut cream, vanilla, date syrup
- I Call Her Red: strawberries, raspberries, lemon, organic agave
- Super Greens: grapes, apples, kale, banana
- The Dark Side: blackberry, watermelon, lime, organic agave
- Cha Cha Cha: mango, pineapple, lime, chia, salt
They are all dairy free and use dates as a natural, healthy sweetener.
Here’s how it all works: designers, just type the shape you want into Pixsweet’s 3D munchifier. The munchifier, in addition to having a really cool name, connects to all hashtags and images through open application programming interfaces, or APIs. It will scour the Internet for you; just pick the image you like best, or upload your own. The object recognition, edge detection, displacement mapping, and other software algorithms can turn any image automatically into 3D food – no design skills necessary! Your chosen design will be uploaded into the production line, and turned into a custom ice pop at an incredible rate of 1.3 seconds per pop. After the design is stamped into the packaging, your chosen tastes are injected, and the product is sealed, labeled, and ready for shipment!
Learn more in the video below:
The site is expected to go fully live in two weeks. Discuss in the Pixsweet forum at 3DPB.com.