What happens when your dinner comes from a printer? We were intrigued by the possibilities and problems that could arise when 3D food-printing technology becomes as common-place as the microwave. We began experimenting in print, exploring glitches and mistakes in current printing processes, and how this could provide a metaphor for future problems. Printing software can develop errors, or be badly set-up. When the ink cartridge in a printer runs out, images become streaky and distorted. What happens when your printer runs out of the raw materials required to reproduce food? A half-printed dinner?
The availability of food in a digital form raises important questions. Could recipes be downloaded, like music? Who owns digital recipes? Could it be possible to illegally download a pirated-recipe? The online culture of music and film as we know it could be applied to food downloads. Customers could leave reviews of recipes on websites and online forums, and upload their own.
However, this relies on having a digital distribution system that works. We felt that it was important to have a physical interactive element, to involve the user so they can experience printing glitches first hand. We present the user with an interface, prompting them to choose a meal to print. However, on selection, the user is faces with a several possible types of printing glitches which distort the printed imagery. This represents future problems and highlights the transition into
how we will deal with an online culture of digital food.
We created a series of postcards that were printed out at the exhibition with a variety of different meals. The postcards try to stylise and highlight the different problems that could occur with a 3D food printer in a simple light hearted way.