Star Trek tech has always been a fascination of ours and the replicators especially were devices of wonder. When you can conjure up objects and food literally out of thin air, what's not to be fascinated about?
The technology for such a wonder might seem like a page out of a science fiction novel. But surprise, we might actually be getting there sooner than you thought.
3D printing is the sort of technology that would form the basis of object replication tech that we see in Star Trek. With our recent report of testing being done on a 3D printer in space, that part of the replication fantasy is slowly becoming reality.
US scientists might have come up with the basic concept of a food replicator. Called the Cornucopia food printer, it's designed as a personal food factory where it can print food from a specified list of ingredients and recipe, with no wastage during the cooking process. Granted, it isn't really spinning food out of thin air but it comes close.
Ingredients are kept in canisters and refrigerated, and taken out only when the recipe calls for it.
Like any 3D printer, this one will print the food layer by layer – this time straight to the serving tray. While the layers are deposited onto the serving tray, the ingredients are either cooked or cooled in the chamber or by heating/cooling tubes attached to the printing head.
Doesn't exactly sound appetising but we reckon with the kind of stuff that molecular gastronomy has cooked up these days, we're pretty sure some food tasting experts will find a way to actually make them taste good.
Sadly, like we mentioned, it's still just a concept. It'll be great if an actual prototype is built and maybe even hit mass production stage. One day, we shall get that perfectly medium rare steak out of thin air.
Three dimensional calories: This 3D printer ditches ink for melted chocolate