Ever since I can remember, I’ve imagined a kitchen where food magically appears. I suppose this vision came from watching The Jetsons every Saturday morning as a child. As technology advances, it is becoming a reality. NASA recently granted $125,000 to Systems & Materials Research Corporation for making a 3D food printer. This printer would be used to make customized nutritious food for astronauts that will benefit them during long distance space travels.
NASA’s grant is self-catered, however it will lead to more possibilities in the future. With the advancement of this technology, society grows closer to countries around the world being able to create their own food. This means that starvation can hopefully become a thing of the past. 3D printing has been around for a short while, the amount of production is limited and the cost is high. Similar to cellphones and televisions, this technology will become a commodity and have the power to create more then it’s currently capable of. This will allow developing countries to purchase them, and use them to increase quality of life.
As someone who sits in front of my computer, being fortunate enough to have enough money in my pocket for a roof over my head and food in my fridge, you can wonder why this directly affects me. Studies show that there will not be enough food for the growing population (http://youtu.be/UAIv15fWfHg). Even though there are more natural ways to sustain our food resources (agriculture development and global production: http://www.un-documents.net/ocf-05.htm), it is beneficial to have other options because we don’t know what the future holds. Therefore having a back up system such as a 3D printer can’t hurt.
It doesn’t stop there. 3D printing has also recently been used to create a functioning human ear. It’s unclear of how many people around the world are in need of an ear but this is a huge step in medical innovation. If they are able to create a functioning body part, it is likely that other parts of the body and functioning organs will soon be artificially created. It is safe to say that 3D printing is here to stay and could benefit the world greatly.
See the video here: http://youtu.be/x6WzyUgbT5A