A few years ago, I took a short trip to Washington D.C. I checked out all of the usual tourist spots, such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and also visited several museums, like the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of American History. At the latter, I was intrigued by an exhibition on alcohol and food in the US – the world’s first frozen margarita machine was behind glass, an exhibit about snacks included a vintage Pringles can and an old advertisement for cheese in a can, and there were several notes from children who’d visited the museum and were asked to write about their favorite and least favorite school lunch items (one kid wrote that baked/fried chicken looked like brains). Currently, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) is holding its own exhibition on food, called “Food by Design: Sustaining the Future.” On display at the exhibition are several innovations that have the power to change the food industry in the near future…like 3D printing. 3D printer manufacturer ZMorph, which specializes in multitool 3D printers, is supporting MODA by adding its ZMorph 2.0 SX multitool 3D printer to the exhibition, as it has a Thick Paste Extruder for food and chocolate pastes.
MODA’s exhibition description reads: “The process of feeding ourselves involves a massive infrastructure, advanced technologies, and dynamic systems that touch on just about every aspect of the world we live in. Creating sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and efficient ways of producing healthy food presents a wide variety of design challenges. Food by Design: Sustaining the Future will look at cutting-edge developments and explore how the farm of the future might operate. The exhibit will also highlight ways in which worldwide food distribution could be made more equitable, and how we could design systems that encourage people to make healthier choices.”
MODA believes that lives can be transformed, and problems can be solved, by utilizing the creative design process to make the world a better place. This isn’t MODA’s first 3D printing exhibition: back in 2015, the museum held its “Designers, Makers, and Users: 3D Printing the Future” exhibit, to celebrate the overall contributions of the maker movement and 3D printing. Its “Food by Design” exhibition takes a deeper look at what the future of the food industry, agriculture, and farms looks like. It features over 50 exhibits, which explain and showcase some of the different ways we grow, process, make, and prepare our food.
“The goal of this exhibit is to highlight the many innovative designs and promising solutions to the unique set of problems facing the urban environment that the current food system does not adequately address,” MODA’s exhibitions manager, Janelle Miniter, explained to Northside Neighbour.
3D printed food is not a new concept: we’ve seen 3D printed chocolate, candy, and popsicles, and less sweet fare, like 3D printed hummus, pancakes, and even pizza. Some even believe that 3D printed food could help solve the nutrition and hunger issues that are so prevalent in places like southeast Asia.
There are several machines and solutions featured in MODA’s exhibition, which are currently available for food processing, such as the PancakeBot and the 3D printed meatball of the future. Offerings like these allow innovative companies to find “new real-life applications of food 3D printing.”
As previously mentioned, ZMorph’s 2.0 SX 3D printer is also on display at the exhibition: its Thick Paste Extruder can use various pastes, like avocado, cheese, and cake, to print out 2D and 3D objects.
“We see a growing interest in food 3D printing and thick paste 3D printing in general and there’s still a huge potential for new applications of ZMorph’s Thick Paste Extruder,” ZMorph Founder and CEO Przemek Jaworski told 3DPrint.com of the interest at MODA and overall in food 3D printing. “Exhibits like Food by Design inspire people to look for these new applications by showing that materializing even the wildest idea is possible with the help of modern technology.”
In addition to 3D printed food, exhibition visitors can see different ways to grow food in artificial environments, take part in the futuristic “Tomorrow’s Meatballs” art project, and learn more about concepts being developed to increase health and food sustainability, decrease wastefulness, and make healthier dietary choices. MODA’s “Food by Design” exhibit is open through May 7th. Discuss in the ZMorph forum at 3DPB.com.
[Images provided by ZMorph]