Mechanical engineers explore kitchen uses for 3D printing

Cooking devices that incorporate three-dimensional (3D) printers, lasers, or other software-driven processes may soon replace conventional cooking appliances such as ovens, stovetops, and microwaves. But will people want to use a 3D printer—even one as beautifully designed as a high-end coffee maker—on their kitchen counters to calibrate the exact micro- and macro-nutrients they need to stay healthy? Will 3D food printing improve the ways we nourish ourselves? What sorts of hurdles will need to be overcome to commercialize such a technology?

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