The 3D printing phenomenon has now reached your plate. London-headquartered Food Ink is serving 3D-printed food while you sit at 3D-printed tables and chairs and eat from 3D-printed utensils.
In case you're wondering, all the food is edible. The restaurant has developed a unique 3D printing process wherein ingredients are packed into a tube-like structure in the form of a puree. Once this is done, the puree is printed by a Dutch-made 3D machine called ByFlow.
The tube-like structures or moulds are then navigated by a robot to create dishes replete with designs.
The moulds are guided with the robotic ‘arm’ of the printer to create dishes at a level of precision which the restaurant says is rarely achieved by a human chef.
Some of the dishes on offer include olive caviar, fish and chips, and chocolate, all of which are printed on the spot in front of customers.
According to a report by Australian website SBS, Food Ink's chief executive officer and founder Antony Dobrzensky leads a team of “architects, artists, chefs, designers, engineers, futurists, industrials, inventors and technologists.”
“Simply put, we are putting to work the most innovative technologies, like 3D-printing and virtual reality, in order to present the most exquisite interactive edible experience," the restaurant, which started in 2016, posted on its website.
But Dobrzensky isn't looking to kill jobs.
“I only wanted to do this project if the food could be outstanding, and I don’t want to substitute chefs,” the CEO was quoted as saying by The Munchies in a separate interview. “I wanted to work with them to see how we could work with the technology to bring out the best in each other.”
The scope and applications of 3D printing have been increasingly widening with several advancements in the field in the recent past. Researchers recently developed a technique that could potentially change the colour of 3D-printed objects multiple times.
3D printers remain expensive but have gradually entered the mainstream in recent years and are being used to build prototypes for cars, jewellery and architecture, among other applications.