3D printed Donald Trump butt plug

http://3dprint.com/80787/donald-trump-butt-plug/

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Mexican Immigrant Creates a 3D Printed Donald Trump Butt Plug, Available Now for Purchase

Whether you love him or you hate him, you have to admit that Donald Trump is one controversial figure, both as a business man and as a political candidate. Many people believe that Trump’s numerous attempts at running for office are nothing more than high-profile marketing campaigns for his own brand. While he has considered running for president just about every opportunity he has had since 1988, this year seems to be the year in which he is causing the most controversy, yet he also seems to have a large following of supporters. The GOP polls were released on Friday, and to the surprise of some, Donald Trump is in a virtual tie with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the race for the GOP nomination.

For those of you familiar with 3D printed political satire, one man’s name stands out. That would be Fernando Sosa, an artist who is known for his own form of controversy. Sosa has created numerous 3D printed figurines which take aim at various political figures, such as Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Chris Christie, among many others. However, one political candidate took a bit of a personal stab at Sosa, in a recent speech that he gave. As most of us are aware, Donald Trump gave quite the inflammatory speech earlier this month, taking aim specifically at Mexicans.

“These people wreak havoc on our population,” Trump stated. “I respect Mexico greatly as a country. But the problem we have is their leaders are much sharper than ours, and they’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us on trade. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting.”

Sosa, who was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was just 11 years old, took Trump’s remarks as a pretty significant personal insult.

“When I saw Trump demonized all immigrants from South America especially people from Mexico, it made my blood boil,” Sosa tells 3DPrint.com. “So I decided to let Trump jump the line on my list of 3D printed homophobes and world dictators.”

WARNING: If you are a political candidate, don’t get on Fernando Sosa’s bad side!

trump1

Sosa resorted to his own form of payback, by creating a 3D printable model of a Donald Trump butt plug. Using a combination of software, including Photoshop, Maya, and Mesh Lab, he set out to make quite an accurate looking Donald trump model. In order to recreate such a spot-on representation of Trump’s face, he used Photoshop to create a realistic looking “3D skin.”  This was done through the use of photos of the politician/business man, as well as various brush techniques and textures.

“Donald Trump’s actual face underneath the TV make-up is pretty disgusting,” Sosa tells us. “It’s a combination of sunburn, and melanoma-like skin, so using the right shade of sunburned wrinkles made this piece extremely realistic. The only thing I’m not too happy about with this piece is that the thing on his head actually looks decent, unlike that thing that actually lives on Donald Trump’s bald head.”

The design process took Sosa from 8PM on a Thursday night until 5AM the following morning to complete. He then sent the file over to Shapeways, and it is now available for purchase. The 3D printed Donald Trump Butt Plug is available for just $27.99.

“So my response to Donald Trump’s remarks, who says Mexico sends their worst, their rapists, and their drug dealers; I say ‘scr*w you and your Republican Party,”‘ Sosa commented. “I was not sent here by the Mexican Government. I came here with my family thanks to my stepfather. We came here looking for the American Dream and my parents worked their butts off so my brothers and I could go to college or serve the armed forces. I’m no rapists and no drug dealer. I have a college degree in 3D animation and run my own 3D printing business, and guess what! I can make you into any shape I want, 3D print you and sell you to others who share their dislike of you. You can threaten to sue me like you have done hundreds of times to others. However, you are a public figure and me making you into a shape of a butt plug is Freedom of speech.”

What do you think about this “interesting” creation by a Mexican immigrant who certainly does not take a liking to Mr. Trump? Discuss in the 3D Printed Donald Trump Butt Plug forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | JULY 13, 2015

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3D printing and the new economics of manufacturing

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ricksmith/2015/06/22/henry-ford-3d-printing-and-the-new-economics-of-manufacturing/

Production Equation 1

3D Printing And The New Economics Of Manufacturing

3D printing production is just scratching the surface of the multi-trillion dollar global manufacturing industry. But its dominance is already pre-determined.

This is because modern manufacturing, despite numerous technological and process advances over the last century, is still a very inefficient global system. Today’s world of mass production is based on one simple rule: the more things you make, the lower the cost of each of those things. We have literally pushed this equation to its extreme limits.

This approach was dramatically accelerated by Henry Ford, arguably the most impactful character in the industrial revolution. For starters, Ford proved out the model of mass production. He wasn’t the first to create the assembly line, but he was the first of his time to perfect it. He built massive factories, and greatly standardized his product and processes. He once famously stated, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.”  The quote may be familiar, but do you know why only black? It wasn’t due to Ford’s forward-thinking design sense, but rather because black was the only color that could dry fast enough to keep up with his assembly lines.

By 1915 he had reduced the time it took to build an automobile by 90%. By 1916, an astounding 55% of the automobiles on the road in America were Model Ts.

Ford mastered mass production and created the world’s first mass consumer product. But there is another reason why Ford is such an important figure historically.  Henry Ford literally punctuated the industrial revolution. We have all been taught about the industrial revolution as if it were a binary switch. There was a before and an after. We all believe we live safely in the after. This IS the future.

But what if that’s wrong?  What if mass production is not the end of this story, but rather just a stop along the way to something completely different? What if a technology came along that could turn everything upside down all over again?

3D printing is a technology that allows you to create things differently, from the ground up, layer by layer until you have a fully formed 3 dimensional object. Just like you now send a computer file of a document to a printer in your home or office, you can now send a computer file of an object to a 3D printer, and out comes that physical object. Eventually, you will be able to print almost anything you can imagine.

forbes.com

by Rick Smith | JUN 22, 2015 @ 5:11 PM

Mainstream 3d printing

http://www.ibtimes.com.au/3d-printing-breaking-mainstream-1450988

3D Printing

3D Printing Is Breaking Into The Mainstream

Five years ago, the thought of “mainstream 3d printing” might seem a little far-fetched for the practical manufacturer. However, the technology has advanced in such a rapid pace that the number of industries applying the process continue to increase. At the moment, 3D printing can produce anything from human stem cells to airplane parts. Indeed, the possibilities with additive manufacturing are limitless.

Analysts at research company Gartner said that a technology has officially become mainstream when it reaches an adoption level of 20 percent. In 2014, a PWC survey revealed that more than two-thirds of 100 manufacturing companies were using 3D printing, with 28.9 percent stating that they were still experimenting on processes in which they would implement the in-demand technology.

Additionally, 9.6 percent of the companies revealed that they were in the stages of prototyping and production, and these companies include General Electric, Boeing and Google. Companies that belong to this tier testified to the advantageous effects of 3D printing, which include time saving and cost efficiency. Another survey held by the International Data Corporation, or IDC, revealed that 90 percent of the companies that use 3D printing are very satisfied with its benefits.

Large companies represent biggest buyers of 3D printer, but the high number of smaller and independent businesses opting to use 3D printing is still difficult to ignore. Keith Kmetz, vice president of Hardcopy Peripherals Solutions and Services at IDC, stated that companies that apply 3D printing are well aware of its positive benefits.

“These printers are typically acquired for a specific creation workflow, but once in place, the usage expands rapidly to other types of applications. The early adopters who recognized the substantial cost and time-to-market benefits of 3D printing have carried the day, but it’s their overall satisfaction and the ability to expand usage that will ultimately drive 3D printing to the next level,” said Kmetz.

In the next couple of years, more companies are expected to switch to 3D printing, and more materials will be used for a wide array of products. Currently, the most commonly used materials are basic plastics, ceramics, cement, glass and numerous metals such as titanium and aluminum. The demand for these materials will continue to increase, especially for titanium. Titanium is heavily used in the medical, aerospace, and automotive applications of 3D printing, in the form of personalised surgical implants and fuel tanks.

To sustain 3D printing’s use of titanium when it hits the mainstream, the global pipeline for the semi-precious metal should be secured for the following years. Thankfully, several mines in South America are already on their way to produce high-grade supply of titanium, such as White Mountain Titanium Corporation (OTCQB: WMTM) in Chile. White Mountain Titanium sits on a deposit in Cerro Blanco that contains 112 million tons of high-grade rutile. Companies applying 3D printing can benefit from it once the mine starts distributing the supply around the world.

ibtimes.com.au

by  | June 04 2015 12:11 AM

Globally accelerating of 3D printing

http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2015/05/13/why-3d-printing-adoption-is-accelerating-globally/

Gear Graphic

Why 3D Printing Adoption Is Accelerating Globally

Prototyping (63%), proof of concept (27%) and production (26%) are the three most dominant uses of 3D printing in Europe today.  The same priorities apply to America (prototyping (56%); proof of concept (43%); production (27%) and marketing samples (17%).

68% of respondents are forecasting their spending on additive manufacturing will increase in 2015.

Accelerating new product development and the ability to offer customized or limited-run products are the leading 3D printing priorities today.

These and other insights are from an extensive survey of 3D printing adoption published today by Sculpteo titled The State of 3D Printing (26 pp., opt-in). 1,118 respondents were contacted in sixteen vertical markets, with 91% being located in America (27%) and Europe (64%). Overall, the sample is comprised of companies and individuals in 50 countries working in 16 different industries. Please see page 3 of the study for an expanded description of their methodology.  Sculpteo is based in Paris and San Francisco, offering 3D manufacturing on demand and of scale to start-ups, SMEs and design studios.

Key take-aways of the study include the following:

  • 44% reported they will increase their spending on additive manufacturing by 50% or more this year. Overall, 68% of respondents are forecasting their spending on additive manufacturing will increase in 2015.
  • Accelerating product development (32%), offering customized products and limited series (28%) and increasing production efficiency/buying a 3D printer (13% each) are the top three priorities related to 3D printing in 2015.  The following graphic compares the top priorities related to 3D printing in 2015 versus 2020.

top priorities 3D printing

  • Determining factors in the adoption of 3D printing globally that are most important center on machine consistency & capabilities and material & supply costs.  The five most important factors include machine consistency & capabilities (60%), material and supply costs (53%), understanding customer needs (28%), clear legal framework (24%), reverse engineering (21%) and training teams (20%).  The following graphic compares adoption factors by level of importance.

determining factors

  • When respondents were asked if there are any trends that they anticipate having a major impact on 3D printing, materials (21.5%), new markets (17.2%) and easy 3D modeling (17%) emerged as most significant.  The following graphic is based on textual analysis and multi-categorical semantic analysis of the responses. In all, twelve major themes recurred across all responses.

Semantic Analysis

  • European 3D printing early adopters are more focused on attaining scale, while their Americas-based counterparts are focused on pragmatic factors of co-creation and buying a 3D printer.  Europeans are more focused on offering customized products and limited series (21% in 2015 growing to 43% in 2020) and increasing production flexibility (9% in 2015 growing to 14% in 2020).  The following graphic compares America and Europe along the dimensions of 3D printing priorities.

Europe Americas 3D Printing Comparison

  • 26% of European respondents consider themselves advanced or professional at 3D printing techniques compared to 23% of Americas-based respondents. Europeans see 3D printing as the defined domain of trained specialists. Americans perceive 3D printing can be used for everything and is accessible to everyone in the company. The following comparison provides insights into how each geographic group of respondents classify themselves in terms of 3D printing expertise.

3D printing experience

  • 3D printing power users have significant competitive advantages over their peers in accelerating product development and offering customized products and limited series today through 2020.  Power users have a 19% advantage versus their peers in accelerating product development in 2015 (32% versus 51%), and a 15% in 2020 (31% versus 46%). The following graphic compares power users versus peers on 3D printing strategies.

Power Users Production2 3

  • 50% of 3D printing power users are relying on these technologies, systems and processes to support production today. Power users dominate proof of concept (59%), prototyping (83%), and in the Americas the development of marketing samples (31%).  The following graphic compares the total respondent base and power users.

Power Users Production

forbes.com

by Louis Columbus | MAY 13, 2015 @ 6:28 AM

3D printed movie and video game prop

http://gizmodo.com/i-stumbled-upon-a-3d-printed-movie-and-video-game-prop-1698250876

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

I Stumbled Upon a 3D Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

Here at the Inside 3D Printing show in New York City, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of 3D-printed movie props, printed on standard consumer printers, and I never wanted to leave.

The creations come from My Mini Workshop in London, an intensive 10-week program for learning 3D printing, which just kicked off for the first time ever in NYC. I was annoying and bugged some innocent passersby to snap pictures and nabbed a few pictures of my own. These. Things. Are. Awesome.

Starlord Mask, The Guardians of the Galaxy

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

Mjölnir, Thor and Avengers

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

Type-25 Carbine (Spike Rifle), Halo Series

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

Thorn, Destiny

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

Ant-Man helmet, Ant-Man

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

Isaac Clarke’s helmet, Deadspace Series

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

The Samaritan, Hellboy

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

Buster Sword, Final Fantasy VII and Covenant Carbine, Halo

I Stumbled Upon a 3D-Printed Movie and Video Game Prop Wonderland

NBD, just me holding one of the greatest weapons in video game history/fulfilling a childhood dream. By Luka Verigikj and Daniel Schunemann.

gizmodo.com

by Darren Orf | 4/16/15 4:07pm

MacklerMedia’s NYC Event

http://3dprint.com/58588/worlds-largest-pure-3d-printing-show-mecklermedias-nyc-event-is-huge/

meckler3

‘World’s Largest Pure 3D Printing Show’ – MacklerMedia’s NYC Event is HUGE

The city that never sleeps may just be on the verge of becoming the 3D printing capital of the world. This week, MecklerMedia launched their much anticipated 3D Print Week NY event, bringing companies and individuals from all around the globe to the Big Apple in what has be building up to be one of, if not the, largest 3D printing events in history.

The city-wide event, which launched Monday, April 13th with SOLS Martini Monday includes individual events being held by various companies within New York City, as well as MecklerMedia’s own Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo, and their 3D Print Design and Fashion Shows which are taking place at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. As a co-producer of these MecklerMedia events, 3DPrint.com had a feeling that this year’s show would not only be one of the company’s largest 3D printing events ever, but that it could potentially become the world’s largest event moving forward.

mecklerfeaturedgood

“As of an hour ago (10:00 AM ET), [we’ve had] 11,100 pre-registered guests, with 53 countries represented [and] 44 U.S. states — Largest pure 3D printing show in terms of attendance worldwide.”

With all eyes on 3D printing this week, thanks to the Inside 3D Printing Conference as well as the 3D Print Design Show and 3D Print Fashion Show by MecklerMedia which officially kick off tomorrow morning, it is no surprise that most of the 3D printing stocks have been trading up considerably today. At the time this article was written, shares of Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) were trading up an astounding 6.29%, while 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) was up 6.06%, and Materialise (NASDAQ:MTLS) was trading up 2%. All three companies happen to have a huge presence at this year’s event, and the world seems to be taking notice.  Coincidence?  Probably not!

mecklerfeatured

With over 11,000 people who have pre-registered for the MecklerMedia events, this will certainly be one heck of a show, one which we at 3DPrint.com are excited to be a part of. It’s not too late to get tickets for the any of these shows, but hurry up because they are going fast.

meckler2

For those of you who do attend, be sure to stop by the 3DPrint.com booth, located in the 3D Printing Conference section, for a chance to meet some of our writers.

Will you be attending this event? Be sure to check in and discuss what you saw in the 3D Print Week NY forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | APRIL 15, 2015

3D printed fashion shows

http://www.digitaltrends.com/features/inside-new-yorks-3d-print-fashion-show/

Melinda Looi + Materlise

Inside one of the first 3D printed fashion shows in America

“For me, fashion is an expression of art and I’m very excited to explore the technology’s potential to change how clothes are made and rst.”

How much would you pay for a pair of shoes customized to fit you perfectly? How about wearing your favorite piece of art? Welcome to 3D-printed fashion.

MecklerMedia will host its first 3D Print Fashion Show in the United States in New York April 16, showcasing the latest items from the top designers across the world. The company promises “the top 3D print designers from around the world will create original pieces” that will debut at the show. One of the show’s main attractions: Fashion designer Melinda Looi will reveal, what is eventually world’s first full-length evening gown, 3D-printed as a single part flexible enough to slink and vamp with a woman’s body.

“When you think of constructing with a sewing machine, you’re always thinking in terms of how to use fabric and thread,” Looi told Digital Trends. “But with 3D printing, you’re not limited to that.” Looi is a veteran designer, having won Designer of the Year three times at the Malaysian International Fashion Week. The enthusiastic designer will debut her second 3D collection in collaboration with the fashion show’s sponsor, 3D print software provider Materialise. Her first collaborative collection with Materialise — inspired by birds — came in 2013 at Malaysia’s first printed fashion show.

“3D printing will change the world,” Looi explains. “Maybe not now, but in times to come 3D printing will usher in a new era by enabling machines to produce objects of any shape, on the spot, and as needed.”

Francis Bitonti Studio + Michael Schmidt Studios + Shapeways

Indeed, 3D-printed clothing has caught fire among designers across the globe. Materalise and Looi put on Asia’s first two 3D print fashion shows in Malaysia andJapan, three months apart in 2013. The following year, Geek Picnic 2014 — an open-air festival held annually in St. Petersburg, Russia — showcased 3D print clothing alongside robot giants and virtual-reality headsets at the first 3D print fashion show in Russia. Later this year, Boston will host its first 3D printing jewelry competition courtesy of Design Museum Boston, New England’s only design museum. And 3D Printshow has held events for the advancements in the space since 2012; it held its first fashion show in New York City last year.

The future will strut its stuff on the catwalk, in other words — yet it’s still far from a reality today.

How soon is now?

Interest in 3D-printed clothing may be at its highest ever, but trucks full of printed clothing won’t flood your local H&M any time soon. Creating the future is taxing financially, with a single dress costing upwards of $3,000 just to produce at the moment.

“Currently accessories and garment accessories are the only commercial way forward, as a complete gown is just too expensive,” Looi said. And garments that come from the current generation of 3D printers lack the durability everyday clothing requires. “The fragility of a 3D printed garment is another thing to overcome,” she explained.

Looi chose not to reveal any details about her potentially groundbreaking collection, but promises it will be “even more spectacular then our last one.” Still, retail outlets are slow to adopt the groundbreaking tech, despite enthusiasm from designers. The acclaimed designer says no retail outlets have contacted her about selling her 3D-printed clothing yet, “but we do get a lot of inquiries from museum and exhibitors.” Emphasis on the yet: A spokesperson for MecklerMedia told Digital Trends the company has in fact received calls from retail chains interested in attending the show.

Other designers participating in the 3D Print Fashion Show have all had their hands in pushing this burgeoning industry. Andrew O’Mara helps 3D design custom footwear for startup Feetz, a company which turns photos of customer’s feet into individually customized 3D-printed shoes. Rachel Nhan, who has crafted 3D printed neckpieces, is assistant graphic designer at Aeropostale. Francis Bitonti runs a studio which produces 3D-printed jewelry, gowns, bags and accessories and describes itself as a “disruptive luxury brand.” Bitonti also holdswebinars on the 3D print process in fashion and is holding his next one on June 10 at 1 p.m. EST.

Rachel Nhan Neckpiece

For years, 3D print fashion has been on display. But Looi’s free-flowing gown could signal a path from the runway to your closet. With PayPal sponsoring this year’s Geek Picnic in Russia and Nike releasing its first 3D-printed Nike Football Rebento duffle bag, Mercurial FlyLite Guard and the Nike Vapor HyperAgility Cleat last summer, 3D print fashion may capture the funding needed to commercialize this revolution. It has certainly already captured the interest.

MecklerMedia’s inaugural 3D Print Fashion Show will take place April 16 at5:30pm at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

digitaltrends.com

by | April 7, 2015

 

3D printed Star Wars prosthetic arm

A Young American Received A 3D Printed Gift That Transformed His Life

http://goo.gl/K3X0BL

Nearly every young boy is obsessed with Star Wars. But for Liam Porter of Augusta, Georgia, a Star Wars obsession may actually be warranted — he’s got a mechanical limb like many of the characters in the galaxy far, far away.

The 7-year-old was born without his left arm below the elbow, and his family has struggled for years to find a prosthetic that he could be proud of and is able to use with ease.

On Saturday, his life changed when Liam was greeted at his local movie theater by people wearing Star Wars costumes and given the best gift he could ever dream up: a functional new prosthetic arm like that of Luke Sykwalker himself. The prosthetic was made using 3D printing technology, according to the Augusta Chronicle, the newspaper that first reported the story.

Liam’s prosthetic is the brainchild of John Peterson, who recently acquired a 3D printer and was searching around the web for nifty projects he could do with it to occupy his time.

Peterson happened upon e-NABLE, an online community of 3D-printing geeks who volunteer their technology — and time — to make prosthetics for people in need, especially kids. Volunteers from the organization work with professional designers and engineers, and open-source schematics for free to anyone who wants them.

Using 3D technology has strong advantages in this case. Many insurance companies do not cover costly prostheses for children because they will quickly outgrow them. While a standard prosthetic hand for child may cost upward of $9,000, a 3D printed version can be made for just a fraction of that amount. It took Peterson about three months to make Liam’s new limb at a cost of about $300.

Along with the his new arm, the local group of costumed Star Wars enthusiasts presented Liam with a helmet and a “Friends of the Garrison” 501st Legion certificate, which makes his Stormtrooper appointment official.

The Force is certainly proud of Liam.

References:

3D printed food for soldiers!

Feeling Hungry? Check out what’s on the menu for the future soldiers of America!

http://www.npr.org/…/361187352/army-eyes-3d-printed-food-fo…

Army researchers will try to find ways to 3-D print nutritious food with less heavy packaging than the current military meals.

Army scientists have spent decades concocting meals that last without refrigeration and survive high-altitude airdrops. And now, the Army is eyeing a new form of cooking: 3-D printing! Yes, food that comes fresh out of a printer, for our troops.

Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist leading the team at the Army’s Natick research center, lays out the vision.

Imagine soldiers who are strapped, head to toe, with sensors that measure if they’re high or low in potassium or cholesterol.

“We envision to have a 3-D printer that is interfaced with the soldier. And that sensor can deliver information to the computer software,” Oleksyk says. “And then they would be able to have either powdered or liquid matrices that are very nutrient dense, that they have on demand that they can take and eat immediately to fill that need.”

“Liquid matrices” that are nutrient “dense.” And you print them?!

You read that right.

The Army is turning to 3-D printers for many purposes, including a nutrition project — to stamp out the equivalent of PowerBars, but personalized for the battlefield.

The Department of Defense has just approved research funding. And it’s going to take a lot of research. While regular printers put ink on paper, 3-D printers blast liquids and powders into complex shapes. But it’s not clear if printers could mold a solid like carrots — and what would happen to the food’s nutritional value.

“There’s synthetic types of meats, there’s real beef, there’s real meat,” Oleksyk says. “And we would see what that does in the printing process to that protein, whether it’s animal based or plant based.” She’s talking about this research with the MIT Lincoln Lab and NASA too.

Of course, the 3-D food will have to pass a taste test, just like the current rations — which are called MREs, or meals ready to eat.

Oleksyk mailed me a bunch to sample. I try a jalapeno pepper jack-flavored patty. It is full of flavor, and also very processed, like someone had to jam a lot into a little patty.

The kitchens that make this patty use flaming hot ovens and extreme heat to sterilize it. Oleksyk says if 3-D printers could use less heat, the patty could also taste better — less like a compact muscle and more like fresh ground meat.

“We hope so! It’s not being done, so it’s something that we will investigate in our project,” she says.

In the food world, 3-D printing is just getting started — and it’s a sweet start, literally.

Liz von Hasseln is giving me an online video tour of The Sugar Lab, a 3-D printing outfit in Los Angeles that turns sugar into sweet candy sculptures for wedding cakes and fancy cocktails. The startup was acquired by 3D Systems, which is sharing its technology with the military in informal talks.

She points to a printer that’s the size of an industrial photocopier and explains, “What the printer does is, a lot like making frosting in a bowl, it basically adds the wet ingredients of the frosting to the dry ingredients very, very precisely in very fine layers.”

Von Hasseln sent me some samples to try — and they’re very different from the military food. I unwrap a delicate sphere that’s a little bigger than a lollipop. It tastes like Sweet Tarts.

It’s hard for me to imagine this technology producing anything nutritious or durable. But von Hasseln husband, Kyle, co-founder of The Sugar Lab, says the printer’s ability to vary textures — to make food soft or hard — would be critical for soldiers who are injured or on the move.

“Dialing in the exact density of food could mean that they could eat more easily and because of that, as a consequence, they might even eat more or be healthier,” he says.

3-D printed food sounds sci-fi. But according to military scientists and 3-D experts, these meals for soldiers are on track to be ready by 2025.

References: