3D Printing

3D-printed pizza – a quick and easy meal for astronauts?

3D-printed pizza – a quick and...
A 3D-printed pizza that astronauts might one day be able to dig into (Photo: Anjan Contractor)
A 3D-printed pizza that astronauts might one day be able to dig into (Photo: Anjan Contractor)
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A 3D-printed pizza that astronauts might one day be able to dig into (Photo: Anjan Contractor)
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A 3D-printed pizza that astronauts might one day be able to dig into (Photo: Anjan Contractor)

Snacking on a freshly-made pizza in outer space just got a whole lot closer thanks to Anjan Contractor's 3D pizza printer. Contractor, who won NASA's US$125,000 grant last year to create a 3D printer that could print food for astronauts on missions, has come out with a functional prototype.

The prototype prints the blocky pizza out in layers, as demonstrated in the video at the bottom of the page. While it's a tad messy, the end product, when cooked, looks fairly appetizing. Contractor plans to equip the 3D printer with food cartridges that last for 30 years.

Such a long shelf life is pretty much a necessity, since long-distance space missions could take several years. To make the pizza ingredients last, Contractor is investigating ways to remove all the moisture from them and reduce the proteins, carbs and nutrients into a powder form.

Contractor says that it only took 70 seconds to cook the pizza once it was printed out, in a comment on his Youtube page. If NASA implements the technology, astronauts will be able to get 3D-printed fast food in space, which should be a comfort, instead of having to rely solely on freeze-dried and canned foods.

Via: Fastcoexist, Quartz, The Verge

Full Pizza Print

8 comments
Nairda
What, people can't mix dough in space? :)
Aurin Ræder
Certainly impossible to mix flour with your hands in zero gravity, it would float everywhere and cause all kinds of problems, this machine mixes and bakes in a sealed chamber, so the only exposed item is the final pizza which is much less dangerous to have bounching around:)
windykites
Has April 1 come early this year? This machine looks like it had been made by a high school student. The company got $125,000 for this creation! It looks apparent that the contents are deposited on that flat surface with the help of gravity. Would it not be easier to have pre-made pizzas, stored in plastic wrappers? The extra weight of the printing machine is then not required. Also, I can't see why the pizza is square, and not round. It looks like the programming was easier to produce a square. The whole thing looks incredibly amateurish and to my mind, pointless. Mind you, the company has done very well with that enormous grant. Someone is a good salesman.
Larry English
ew how is this different from steak-in-a-tube? the quintessential awful astronaut food... the ''ink'' lasts for 30 YEARS?>>>????? who would eat that? wle
tflahive
Wahoo. First a 3D Chocolate printer. Now a 3D Pizza printer. What's next?
Deborah Wright
no one has even spoken about flavor!
Darwin Liquors
Tough audience.... I found it impressive.
SaysMe
Certainly can not have leaky sauce in space... Can I order cheese 'stuffed' crust in space? Or anchovies?