Tom & Tracy received many tweets and emails in response to their last episode on Countertop Food 3D Printers. In fact, the responses were so positive and informative that they decided to follow up with this WTFFF?! Food 3D Printer Update episode to discuss and share it with everyone. There are several more Countertop 3D Printers to note, available through Kickstarter campaigns or direct from manufacturers for 3D Printing food, chocolate, pancakes, and more.
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Food 3D Printer Update – Where can you find them?
Many thanks to several of our listeners, especially @BotBQ, for pointing us to the 3Digital Cooks web site. It is a good resource for all things countertop food 3d printer related. When it comes to a food 3d printer, presentation is everything. Some companies are doing a better job on this than others, ultimately you need to be the judge. Here are some of the countertop food 3d printers available today:
PancakeBot Food 3D Printer
The PancakeBot is a 3d printer built on top of a cooking griddle. They have their own free software called Pancake Painter you can download and install to draw and create your own pancake designs. You can download existing designs from their website, and upload your own designs if you want to share them. Here is a video overview of the PancakeBot:
The company states on their website that they have product in stock, and it will ship in March, 2016. This product looks very professionally designed and developed, the website is clean, easy to understand and navigate. At $299 this product is priced to move, and within reach of most homes and businesses.
This is a production Chocolate 3D Printer that looks like a professional espresso machine. It gives you confidence that it is food safe, and a robust creative and production tool. They have a huge photo gallery at ChocEdge.com of many examples of decorative chocolate designs that have been made with this foo3D printer. There is an LCD screen user interface on the printer that is easy to read and operate. There are many videos on YouTube that show this printer in action, and how many of the example designs were made. This printer sells for about $3400 USD (Converted from British Pounds) before tax and shipping. While that still places it well within the cost of many desktop 3D printers in the market, it is not an entry level price point either. It is clear from the example videos and photos that printing in chocolate is challenging. It will likely take 100’s of hours to get the hang of printing in chocolate, and become a designer/technician capable of producing quality items on this printer. However, if chocolate decorations are your thing, and you are willing to put in the time, this food 3d printer is built to deliver.
XYZ Food 3D Printer
We first saw the XYZ food 3D printer at CES in 2015, but were not impressed. The machine looks professional, and we know XYZ to be a quality 3D printer manufacturer. However the sales people in the booth appeared to be short on experience working with this material (cookie dough) and even the machine. This is a good example of what not to do at a trade show. It is well worth the expense to send a designer and or technician who have experience with the printer and the printing material so that the printer is producing quality samples that will help sell the printer. Knowing XYZ, we have high hopes for this food 3d printer, but unfortunately few success examples to share at this time. We also do not see it for sale on XYZ’s web site, so we can not confirm the availability or the price.
This German made food 3D printer looks more like a RepRap kit printer, but it appears to produce some nice looking food items. It is solidly built and includes a handle for portability around your kitchen. The Print2Taste web site states that it is still in pre-production, expected to start shipping in April 2016. You can pre-order it today for 12oo Euros.
We are thrilled to learn that there are more affordable food 3d printers available on the market that we were lead to believe from our visit to CES 2016. Interested food enthusiasts do not need to wait until 3D Systems finishes working out the details of its commercial grade food 3d printers. Even if they do finish soon, the price of the commercial printers will put them out of reach for the independent food business owner, or home based food enthusiast. While the countertop food 3d printer market is still in its infancy, there are a few printers available to buy and experiment with. You may not get a lot of support, depending on which one you decide to go with, so be prepared to experiment and seek the help of other users to learn and solve problems. Be ware of Kickstarter project food 3d printers, as they may not be available to buy yet, and even if they are, you should consider it an experimental purchase that will require a lot of your time.
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