From jet engines to office buildings, we've seen all manner of things constructed using 3D-printing techniques, but we're yet to see it used to make something that can cook us a hot meal. Until now that is. The Pyra, by Oakland-based company Fathom, is the first 3D-printed smart oven.
Despite taking its name (at least in part) from “pyro” – the Greek word for fire – the Pyra smart oven is entirely flameless. Made from 3D-printed, engineering-grade plastics, the device uses a fan in its base to circulate air over heating elements and through an intricate system of air ducts, achieving temperatures of up to 375° F (190° C).
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The team fabricated the plastic components for the smart oven using a Fortus 900mc printer, which is currently the only system capable of printing using a food-safe material known as ULTEM 1010. Once the Pyra was assembled and the non-3D-printed electric components installed, the team demonstrated its effectiveness by slow cooking a dry-rubbed cut of beef. The results look suitably delicious.
The Pyra is connected to the cloud via built-in Wi-Fi and can be controlled via an HTML5 webapp. There are no physical buttons on the appliance itself and the app is fully customizable, allowing users to adjust control options to suit their own specific needs.
The device is actually an evolution of Fathom's earlier Aquino Thermal Chamber device (pictured below), which was designed to incubate cell cultures. The company has plans to make its thermal chamber designs open source, allowing others to 3D print their own device, whether they're using it for scientific purposes, cooking, or whatever else they can dream up.
Overall, the team hopes that the project will encourage both individuals and companies to push the boundaries of what's possible with 3D printing.
"I hope this design inspires designers and engineers to challenge the way they think about product design and manufacturing," said Fathom's director of research, and Pyra's creator, Carlo Quiñonez.
For more on the Pyra smart oven, you can check out the video below.