Engineer Anjan Contractor is constructing one of the first 3D food printers for NASA to use to make healthier food in space. How the 3D food printer works is instead of conventional ink cartridges, the food printer uses powdered food cartridges that layer the powder to create different flavors and types of food. The commands are sent through a computer that then uses a gun-like mechanical arm to release the powders according to the food’s shape and ingredients onto a metal plate.
If the food needs to be cooked, the metal plate warms up so as soon as the powder comes into contact with the metal, it begins to cook. Currently, Anja Contractor is working to create the first ever 3D printed pizza. While it’s hard to bring fresh food into space, the 3D food printer technology will help to improve NASA’s astronauts’ diet and ensure that they are getting the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients while in space.
Photo Credits: designboom, nasa.gov