Well here’s another first for 3D printing: Dovetailed recently launched the 3D Fruit Printer, an extraordinary new machine that combines individual droplets of liquid to create convincing fruit imitations. Aimed at foodies and chefs, the British-designed printer uses a molecular-gastronomy technique called spherification to create fruit-flavoured balls that resemble tapioca pearls. Even though the fruit is anything but real, the flavor possibilities are endless, and it’s possible to combine the pearls so they actually take on the shape of apples, pears, and other fruits that are yet to be invented.

The company has been working alongside Microsoft to develop the 3D printer, which was recently unveiled at Tech Food Hack, a dining hackathon that brought together foodies, hackers and designers to create innovative new dining experiences. “Our 3D fruit printer will open up new possibilities not only to professional chefs but also to our home kitchens — allowing us to enhance and expand our dining experiences,” said Dovetailed founder Vaiva Kalnikaitė. “We have re-invented the concept of fresh fruit on demand.”

Related: LIX: The World’s Smallest 3D Printing Pen Draws Designs in Thin Air

Despite the fact that fruit made from these pearls would be lacking in nutritional content, the design possibilities are interesting. Combining apple and raspberry has been done before, for example, but with the 3D Fruit Printer it is possible to give the flavor combination a distinctive shape. In essence, you would be able to create new ‘fruits’ that go hand-in-hand with the new flavor combinations. As explained by Tim Regan, principal scientist at Microsoft, “Vaiva and Gabriel’s work inventing a 3D printer that prints fruit unlocks new creative possibilities that reach further still into our everyday lives and our expressive potentials.”

+ Dovetailed

Via Cambridge News

Images by Dovetailed