What’s next in Kitchen Technology?

February 25, 2011

Did you ever think a computer printer would be the next innovation in kitchen appliances? Looks like it may be the next evolution in the home kitchen.

Did you ever think a computer printer would be the next innovation in kitchen appliances? Looks like it may be the next evolution in the home kitchen.  The Lempert Report caught up with Jeff Lipton, a PhD student at Cornell University, team lead of the FAB@ Home Student project, who's goal is to work on developing new tools, software platforms, useful application, and much more for the fabber.  Jeff explains just exactly what the fabber is, a device some may think is a wacky invention, and others, including The Lempert Report, believe may just be one of the most efficient food preparation methods yet. The excitement and power of digital fabrication - translating digital designs into physical objects - in the home kitchen may just be the next evolution of your microwave oven and personal chef in one.
So Jeff, tell us a little about the FAB@Home project. What is it all about?
Well, FAB@Home is a world wide open source collaboration of users and developers to make a functional home 3-D printer. The main goal of the project is to use 3-D printing to democratize innovation to allow for mass customization and really open up the frontiers of invention to the ‘common man.’
What does the FAB@Home printer have to do with food? 

This isn’t your typical 2-D printer; the way it works is it puts droplets of material, layer by layer to create an object. And when we looked at the home, we knew that you were going to have one in your home over the next 20 years.
But Jeff, what about the drive towards more health foods, getting back to whole foods and natural ingredients?

Well, the fundamental rule is garbage in, garbage out. You can’t print chocolate sculptures all day long and eat them and expect to be thinner. However, where the machine will really shine is merging the information divide and digital divide. Right now we know what we should be eating. We have all these sensors on our bodies and even in our smart phones to tell us how long we’ve walked and how much we’ve exercised. But if we don't take that delicious cookbook recipe for steamed rice and make it ourselves, we will end up not benefiting from it. This machine can dole out meals based on your caloric intake for the day, based on your movements for the day and really allow you to tailor your diet using a computer program to automate the food preparation rather than relying on you to not just go to the snack drawer and eat something delicious.
To hear the full interview and find out what types of food Jeff and the FAB@Home team at Cornell have made, click here; and to find out how you can get your own Fabber, visit The Next Fab Store.