Hurray for summer! MIT students create a 3D ice cream printer
Are you bored of 3D printing confectionery such as chocolate and sugar cubes or even pancakes? Three students at MIT definitely were, which is why they have gone a step further and created a homemade ice cream printer.
Built with the combination of a household Cuisinart ice cream maker and a Solidoodle printer, Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker and David Donghyn Kim have created a printer that extrudes soft ice cream onto a surface which is then frozen using liquid nitrogen.
“The main reason we feel an Ice Cream 3D printer is an important addition to current additive manufacturing technology is that it interests children,” the trio explained. “By combining this new technology of additive manufacturing with ice cream, we have found a way to interest children in technology and pursuing science and engineering in the future.”
The set up also features a cryogenic section which is placed there in order to make sure that the temperature in the ice cream is frozen evenly once extruded. The equipment is placed in a small upright freezer in operation to keep the temperature cool enough so the ice cream can hold its shape. Liquid nitrogen is then sprayed onto the ice cream as it is extruded to solidify it.
The project is obviously a proof of concept prototype and no plans have been set to commercialise it yet. But we definitely see a future in ice cream printers, whether in ice cream trucks or at kids parties!
You can take a look at the printer in action in the video below.