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MIT Students 3D Print Ice Cream, But Is It Green?


downloadEver since 3D printing hype began to grow, scientists have been questioning the claim that the process is environmentally friendly. However, while this debate is still ongoing, 3D printing technology is bombarding us with incredible results.

The technology holds a great potential to form the basis of a green industrial revolution. Initially used in manufacturing objects, the technology now moves to food production, offering a potential solution to the approaching world’s food crisis. Scientists are already familiar with making sugar, chocolate and other food products using 3D printers, but this is not the end of it. Students from MIT took the process to another level, printing cold and refreshing ice-cream in less than 15 minutes.

OK, yes, 3D printing consumes quite a lot of energy, and a lot of the ink goes to waste. However, we have to acknowledge that the technology is still new and there is plenty of room for eco-friendly improvements. The world is eagerly waiting for renewable energy to take over this market, and new eco-friendly and recyclable 3D printing inks to get introduced.

But while some scientists are busy working on these innovations, others are busy mastering the use of the 3D technology.  A group of students from MIT decided to take a normal Cuisinart ice cream maker, and coupled it with a Solidoodle printer, creating the ultimate new generation ice-cream making technology.

The printer is placed inside a small freezer, which releases liquid nitrogen to keep the product icy cold while it is being produced.  The yummy 3D printed creamy treat takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish, which is just long enough to keep the feeling of anticipation and not let it turn into impatience.

Will this be the technology of the future? Have a look at this video to see exactly how the ice-cream is made. I guess for now the ice-cream is not entirely green, unless they add some green tea extract to it, however we have to admit that the future of cooking is already looking quite different.

Image (c) MIT

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