A practical concept for printing 3D food in space and solving the main issues generated from transporting food in space.

The Challenge: Print Your Own Space Food

Think Food Replicators, from an early sci-fi show. Investigate the benefits and feasibility of allowing astronauts to print their own food on the International Space Station or other space facility. What would it look like? What will it be made of? How will it be possible. Create a recipe for a 3D printed meal.

This project aims to achieve and solve problems with transporting food in space that generate big expenses, storage of food, expiration dates and lack of vitamins in specific food. The 3D printer uses cartridges with all vitamins, proteins, minerals, color and sweeteners. These cartridges do not require much space, thus solving the main problem with transporting big portions of food in space. The 3D printer includes a software interface that contains a pre-programmed menu, helping obtain the 2600 calories daily diet for each astronaut.

There is even a menu that can be used to request new food. This form is sent to an interactive web page that can be viewed by the top 10 Universities in the world as well as the general public, who can then make their own suggestions and vote for specific foods. Then, the chosen models can be sent to the 3D printer and printed!

This project could even solve the main commercial issue here on Earth as well that is world hunger! According to NASA, by the end of this century there will be a population of 12 billion people and the lack food will be problem that can be easily fixed with this 3D printing solution.

Real examples are long lasting missions. Mission to Mars with a duration of seven months is a long time to have fresh fruit in big quantities. A 3D Food Printer solves that problem in space. Astronauts will have fresh fruit because the cartridges are closed and have a long expiration date. 

The 3D Food Printer will have an innovative, intelligent recycling management system so if you eat an apple and have waste, the printer will take that waste, recycle it and use it again to make new food. The cartridges are self cleaning and there is absolutely no waste from the system because all matter is reused. The main reusable component of our hardware are the cartridges. We are using vitamins, proteins, aroma and color, and mixing them with marzipan. With this food recycling system, you can reuse matter that is left from waste food.

By implementing our combined knowledge in hardware and software, we managed to make a prototype of the 3D food printer. We made the application for choosing food, a drink and desert. By pressing “Print button” your food is ready to be printed! Different food takes requires different times to print, so you can opt to view the live feed of your food being printed. 

This project solves storage space, decreasing expenses, printing different varieties of food, and commercial use like solving world hunger.

made in

Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

from the minds of...
  • Lidija Popovska
  • Martin Strahilovski
  • Boban Mitovski
  • Milos Mladenovski
  • Nikola Subotic
  • Boban Popovski
at Space Apps 2015

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