3D-Printed Ice Cream Is Now A (Very Yummy) Thing

by Elizabeth Ballou

As a wee lass, I assumed that no food-related machinery could trump the pure awesomeness of the Easy Bake Oven. What could be better than filling the quarter-sized muffin tins and leaving the batter to bubble under that clever little light bulb? However, today, I must allow the Easy Bake Oven to trundle off into the graveyard of Childhood Items That Don't Age Too Well (where it's in good company with Hilary Duff's A Cinderella Story ). This is because I have recently learned of the existence of a 3D ice cream printer, which shows up pretty much every other food machine in culinary history.

Here are the deets, via MIT students Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim developed this dream-fulfiller by cobbling together a Cuisinart ice cream maker with a modified 3D printer. The contraption is housed inside a small freezer to keep the ice cream solid, and the ice cream is sprayed with liquid nitrogen as it's printed so it will continue to keep its shape. Forget 3D printed dildos and 3D printed earbuds and get me one of these, please.

Here's a schematic:

Ice-cream printing has delicious potential and all, but why did the students decide to go in that direction? Bunker explained it to Techcrunch:

"We were inspired to design this printer because we wanted to make something fun with this up and coming technology in a way that we could grab the attention of kids. We felt that it was just as important to come up with a new technology as it was to interest the younger generation in pursuing science and technology so we can continue pushing the limits of what is possible."

Hey, she's got a valid point. If I were a kid without any previous interest in science, this would grab my attention for sure. Here's an example of the finished product:

The MIT students even captured a video of the machine in action, in case you're curious (I know I was!):

Images: 3ders (2)