Op-ed comment

3D printing cheese is just a mess

3d printing cheese

I could write an essay about 3D printing food. It wouldn´t be too bad, I guess. But I won´t. Not this time. This is an article about 3D printed cheese. It´s not about chocolate,  not artificial meat, not some substance made of algae that could solve all the problems with malnutrition and world hunger. Sadly, not this time.

In fact, this is about 3D printing a culinary crime, in my opinion. I can´t even argue that you should never waste food, even when experimenting with 3D printing. I can´t consider it food. It has its own entry in Sterns’ Encyclopedia of Bad Taste. We´re talking about Spray Cheese here. A pressurized substance that is supposed to be tasting faintly reminiscent of cheese. It seems to contain as much cheese as baby oil contains babies. (Okay, inbetween all the protein concentrates, phosphates, acids, and colouring agents, the packaging says it contains cheese culture. How can they speak of culture… grunt grunt)

Enough ranting. Can you 3D print with Cheese in a Can? See for yourself:

It´s funny, isn´t it? The droid-like futuristic sounds the printer makes while the slimy substance oozes out of the spluttering can. That´s comedy gold for me. And while this is of course no serious video, it is a beautiful example for what problems you can run into using a 3D printer. Not enough material flow from the nozzle, a smearing nozzle… it´s all included.

The creator of the “Easy Cheese 3D printer”, Andrew Maxwell Parish, is in fact capable of more than just equipping a 3D printer with a spray can for the fun of it. He is a versed maker, but loves to do little, funny side projects. His website is worth a look for.

But wait, there´s a part two and three of the Easy Cheese 3D printer videos. In part two, he shows a gesture control interface for his 3D printer (and not much actual purposeful printing).

Part three is a little bit more advanced. He prints  layers that make up a little tower. The Leaning Tower of Cheeza (This pun hurts to type…).
Is 3D printing using Spray Cheese possible? Yes.
Should you 3D print Spray Cheese? No.
(I think even owning it is pointless…)