Man vs machine: 3-D trend

11 February, 2011
Page 43 

As previously predicted in Stop the Week, robot bakers are on the rise. While we busy ourselves getting armed to the teeth and stocking up on canned food for the final showdown, here's the latest intelligence report.

The new threat is 3-D printers. No, we're not talking pretty pictures, or even projection cakes. Machines are being developed that can actually print cake. Blogger Dave Arnold, a chef at the French Culinary Institute in the US, was loaned a machine by the Fab@Home project at Cornell University, which is developing the technology for home use.

He created squiggle-printed masa cakes. "Masa (a Spanish dough used for making tortillas) is a homogeneous paste," he said. "Masa is delicious and the ideal printing medium. I had a feeling that the taste and texture of steamed and fried squiggle printed masa would be fantastic."

The printer can print out frosting or any malleable product via a moving syringe, which can be programmed to build structures by stacking layers into 3-D shapes. What it cannot do is survive a size 8 boot stamping up and down on its nozzle yet! It's time to mobilise.

bit.ly/eq3C03 and on.msnbc.com/gnRvUd





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