Soon, your office vending machines might offer a dizzying variety of freshly printed food at the push of a button.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland announced plans Monday to develop vending machines that can 3D-print customized "healthy, nutritious" food.
In a press release, the company said it has tested "starch and cellulose-based materials for 3D food prototypes" and is working toward "printability of protein concentrates of both plant (oat and faba bean) and dairy (whey protein) origin." Or, in more useful language: printable cheese!
3D-printed candy is already here: German company Katjes even prints customized gummy candy on-demand at their Berlin store.
But vending machines that can print nutritious food? That would be a game-changer. Still, VTT researcher Nesli Sözer cautioned that such innovations might still be a ways away.
"A great deal of work is needed in order to proceed to industrial-scale production," said Sözer in the release. "Equipment needs to be developed in addition to materials."