Last spring, a mechanical engineer named Anjan Contractor made headlines for his NASA-funded plan to build a prototype of a 3-D food printer that can make pizza. The printer, Contractor said, would be able to lay out all the starches, proteins, fats, texture, and structure, spraying on flavor, smell, and micronutrients at the end.
Now we have video of Contractor’s prototype in action. The end result doesn’t look half bad, either. On his YouTube page, Contractor says that it took about 70 seconds to cook the pizza after the 3-D printer finished doing its thing.
NASA offered up $125,000 last year to Systems & Materials Research Corporation (Contractor’s employer) to complete the food printer, which could one day give astronauts a nutritious, comforting alternative to the canned and freeze-dried prepackaged foods they’re currently stuck with. If NASA decides it wants to move ahead with the printer, it will still be many, many years before astronauts are eating 3-D printed pizza in space.AS