MIT Students Create 3D Printer for… Ice Cream?

We’re all about cool new manufacturing technology here at NeMAC. And what could be cooler than 3D printed ice cream?

According to a recent article on 3Dprint.com, graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a 3D printer for ice cream. In a class they were working on centered around additive manufacturing, the students were tasked with creating new 3D printed technology. The students–Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim–naturally chose to make a 3D printer for soft serve. Why not?

Here’s a basic sketch of how it works:

icecream-schematic

As 3dprint.com notes, the students modified both a Cuisinart soft serve machine and a Solidoodle 3D printer, combining them together and adding a cryogenic section to keep the ice cream cold and stable while printing. There are some more technical details in the article, but the principle is the same as other 3D printers–only instead of using plastic like most 3D printers, this one uses ice cream as ‘ink.’

Here’s an example of the finished product:

icecream-finished

A little melty, but hey–it’ll do!

When we thought about what sort of inks people would use on 3D printers, we have to say that we never expected ice cream to top the list. That said, we’re glad these students thought this up. What could be better than printed treats on demand? We can’t wait to see what people start 3D printing with next.

All photos courtesy of 3Dprint.com