With so many things that can be printed nowadays using a 3D printer, why not food? Tom and Tracy Hazzard talk about the upcoming future and innovations in the 3D print industry as it relates to food. They use their daughter, Alexandra, as an example of a budding baker who needs an edge to set herself apart in the culinary industry. They also share other examples of the importance of design in any business, highlighting Tracy’s column, By Design, on Inc.com. Would you dare try 3D printed food?
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Food 3D Printing
This is the Ask Us Anything segment.
We’ve had this question a couple of times from some followers on social media asking about some of the food printers out there, the chocolate printers and the sugar printers.
I’d promised we would follow up because I want one.
We went to CES and there was quite a significant display of the food 3D printers at the 3D Systems booth.
It’s the second year in a row.
There have been some developments and I know even XYZ has a printer that does cookies or something. My point is there are more than 3D systems. Other people are working and experimenting with it. We’re hoping a good desktop sugar printer comes out soon because I know our daughter would be all over that. She’s a baker and would love to do that. I want to let our readers know, and it’s related to this subject, that Tracy is an Inc.com columnist in their Innovation and Design sections. She was asked to start writing for them. In your column, By Design on Inc.com, you wrote an article about 3D Systems food and sugar printers.
The thing is that my column is called By Design so it’s not just techie and about 3D printing or anything like that. It’s about design in general. The idea and reason I wrote about 3D printing food printers is because it can teach entrepreneurs and Inc.’s audience about how 3D printing can disrupt, change and give them a benefit. To make it so their business can be valuable and how food 3D printing is a great example of that.
Even if you’re not a techie and not into 3D printing the way we are, and even though you don’t consider yourself a techie, you’re into 3D printing per se, but I think everybody can relate to food.
I used the example on the article about our daughter, Alexandra. She is a budding pastry chef and so she’s studying culinary. When she graduates, how is she going to set herself apart from all those other wannabe bakers out there? Part of it is that she’s getting experience when she works in a bakery. Besides that, what is she going to do to set herself apart and build a career and business? 3D printing is a great way for her to do that. Especially because Alex’s standpoint is she’s not quite the decorator yet. That takes a lot of hours of practice and skill.
Do you mean piping and things?
That takes a lot of skill to make beautiful sugar flowers and to do all those things. She’s learning all the basics of culinary. You have to go through the whole program not only the baking. You don’t only spend your time learning how to decorate. You don’t have the number of hours you can put in. It’s hard to compete against a bakery. If you wanted a little startup bakery, it’s hard to go against that as a kid who only graduated from college and culinary school. How can you do it? How can you raise your artistic level and artistic skill? 3D printing is a great way to do that because you can use your computer skills or you can partner with someone with great computer skills like a jewelry designer or somebody that and bring in great designs that you then print and you could subcontract out to other bakeries. They get used to you, know you and now all of a sudden you have a budding business or you can go into a bakery. With those skills already, you’re more valuable.
I’m glad you made that point. I was thinking about that too because not everybody, especially in the culinary field wants to be an entrepreneur and build their own business. I would think as a young person being educated, you want to set yourself apart from the other applicants for a job. If you have these skills, that might be the difference-maker in you getting a job over the other people.
That’s the thing you have to look at in all fields, not only in baking but in all fields. Can 3D printing set me apart as an entrepreneur or freelancer or build my resume so I can get a job easier? All of that is in one place. You’ve got to look at it like that. You have to look at it from the bakery side or the business standpoint, established business and how can I compete and what can I add that’s different? How can I provide something that attracts every bride out there to my shop to make wedding cakes? How can I attract big event business?
This is one of the interesting things that I thought about 3D systems and food printing. They have a Food Lab in LA that they’re testing out these things. They’re testing out the idea of doing them in an event situation. If you can imagine that you had a custom sugar cube for every guest at your wedding, wouldn’t that be awesome?
That’d be wild.
It’s custom-printed with every person’s initials on it or something like that. The idea of being able to make one of those is specific to that person personalizes your event in a great way. They are expecting that there will be lots of event interest in this so they’re making much bigger machines. The 3D systems machines are industrial. They’re meant to go into the industrial kitchens and that’s why they’re taking so long to get to market.
You don’t even have to do a custom initial for every person at the wedding. It might be enough for each wedding to have its own customized things with the initials of the bride and groom or the date of the wedding.
You randomly make a whole bunch of different designs and they run randomly through them. It can be a lot of fun.
It’s like the little hearts on Valentine’s Day that had all the different messages.
You didn’t know what you’re going to get.
It’s exciting at CES to see how far this food 3D printing is coming. They were printing even some exotic foods. I thought they were printing things that were meant to go in soups to help flavor it.
Start to think about the power of the different things you can test out and you can do. What they were doing was they were making essentially deconstructed soup. Imagine if you had French onion soup but they were creating parmesan crouton type of shapes. They were like these great, fantastic lacy type forms, but they were three-dimensional and look like domes.
It looked like they had fins, but they were varying in shapes.
We have some pictures of that but when they would pour the soup over, it would melt. The cheese would melt into the soup instantly. It was an experience as well as a beautiful piece right before you pour the soup. You had this double feeling about it, and it made you enjoy your food so much more.
It’s an event because as the soup is served, they can put them into the soup. It gets infused right in front of you and you see all this change happen. The flavor was also quite exciting.
On the flip side of that, though, it’s also more efficient. That’s something that they hadn’t considered before until they started thinking about it. You can take some ingredients out that would go bad. If you’re in a restaurant situation or you’re running an event and putting those things on, the cheese gets all congealed and nasty or something after it’s been sitting out for a while. If you drop them in at the last minute and they slowly melt out, you haven’t lost that great taste in that great effect. You can do that with spices. They could do it with a whole bunch of things and they’re trying all kinds of different food products through the machine, not only sugar printing.
I can imagine if you’re a master chef and you care so much about the timeliness of the food that you’re serving. This now would bring some new opportunities for you to control the delivery of your food products.
The point of my Inc. article is if you’re benefits business, this is the analysis you should do on what the benefits 3D printing can bring to you. You should sit down and think, “Can it bring a greater experience to my audience?” “Can it bring a competitive advantage to the next guy down the street because there are bakeries or trophy shops everywhere?” “I’m competing with imports from Asia and all over the world that are so much cheaper than mine, but mine is special. What I’m printing is special.” If you start to look at it in those ways and as a résumé builder, if you’re a freelancer or a student, those kinds of things are great reasons to consider 3D printing. It’s why I’m bullish and excited about 3D printing.
I’m bullish and excited about your Inc. column because there’s something different every week. I know not all of your followers are designers. Your primary interest is 3D printing but if you are a designer or someone who is a designer if you would, please let them know about this new Inc. column called By Design.
It’s more than only for designers. My goal is to create a level of awareness that the power of design for an entrepreneur in the business process. What can it add to you? The first column I wrote, which I had a lot of fun is Why Million Dollar Companies Don’t Buy $5 Logos. You think about the power of that design and the end of the value it adds to your brand. It’s subject matters like that.
I shouldn’t have overemphasized the design because it’s business applicable whether you’re a designer or not.
It always has an aspect of the power of being creative, innovation or design. It’s somewhere in there.
You can search on Tracy’s name, Tracy Hazzard or By Design on Inc.com.
There is a link on HazzDesign.com.
I hope you enjoyed that little subject on down the food 3D printing path.
Thank you for letting me plug my new blog a little bit.
We need to spread the word because there are some great subjects there that people like to read when we’re seeing other people check it on Anchor for non-podcast listeners. If you have a question or a subject you’d like to know more about, please come to 3DStartPoint.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page. You can fill out a form and ask us anything or you can find us on social media at @HazzDesign.
Thanks again for reading.
- By Design – Tracy Hazzard Inc. column
- 3D Systems food and sugar printers – Inc. Article
- Why Million Dollar Companies Don’t Buy $5 Logos – Inc. article
- @HazzDesign – Twitter
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