When they make 3D-printed meat look like this, we'll be impressed. These dainty sugar confections are the work of husband and wife team Kyle and Liz von Hasseln. They hit upon the idea when they wanted to make a birthday cake for a friend, but as graduate students, didn't have an oven.
After being awarded the very first Gehry Prize at the Southern California Institute of Architecture for developing a method of 3D printing that used UV light to cure photo-initiated resin, they took their $100,000 prize and set up shop in L.A. to create 3D-printed confections.
"3D printing represents a paradigm shift for confections, transforming sugar into a dimensional, structural medium. It makes it possible to design, digitally model and print an utterly original sugar sculpture on top of a cake," the pair say on their Sugar Lab Web site.
The sugar itself is printed in layers, with a water and alcohol mixture in between each one to wet and harden the sugar, holding it in place. Once it dries, the geometric constructions are quite rigid and can be used either by themselves as a dainty centerpiece, or with other food -- as cake toppers, for example.
Their creations are impressive, not just for their stark, airy geometry, but because their shapes seem perfectly rendered. Perhaps the current limitations of 3D printing are defined not necessarily by the printer itself, but the material it uses to print.