Is it possible to use 3D printing to help end world hunger?

In summary, the conversation discusses the potential of using 3D printing technology to create 3D editable food and its potential to end world hunger. The SMRC, with support from NASA, has a grant to work on this project. There are many articles and discussions about the potential of using 3D printing to mass produce food blocks that can feed those in poverty. However, there are still challenges to overcome, such as obtaining raw materials and making the process more efficient and cost-effective. Overall, the conversation raises the question of whether 3D printing can truly be a solution to ending world hunger.
  • #1
Vanstorm9
11
0
Hey guys, I have been reading some articles recently and I have came acrossed an article that the SMRC (Systems and Materials Research Corporation)(with its support from NASA) has a grant that supports its project in creating 3D editable food (pizza) using 3D printing (apprently one of the hottest topics in technology).

After I read on how it's possible to print out food using 3D printing, I instantly asked myself if this is the solution to ending world hunger, that is it possible to create small food structures made up of simple components like proteins and carbohydrates to mass produce small, cheap, and editable food blocks that can feed people in poverty.

I then went on google and found out that I wasn't the only one who thought of it. I found a ton of articles about people saying on how this can actually end world hunger if this idea was produced even more. There were many websites and articles that explained the potential of mass producing food blocks that can be fed to the people who needs it.


I am curious, I would like to ask the opinions of all of you, from the professional engineers (or engineering student) how possible is it to use 3D printing to print simple food blocks that can feed a good sized population group and contribute to the end of world hunger? Is there something that will hold this back, like any flaws?

http://www.dogonews.com/2013/5/27/will-3-d-printers-be-the-key-to-ending-world-hunger
 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #2
You've still got to get the raw components and the printers to the people who need it in a manner which is more cost/resource efficient than actual farming. Consider - a steak or a potato is more than a lump of molecules.

I think it is still in the SF "food vat" area right now.

The main technical thing to overcome is pretty much the main thing in rapid prototyping ... how to change, consistently, between materials. For printing something as complex as foodstuffs the problem is much harder than for, say, printing circuits.Note: 3D printing can help by providing simple manufacture of components from local(ish) raw materials.
I don't think many 3D printing researchers are thinking along these lines ... one project I know of, where ease of access is a major design principle, is the Rep-Rap. It's still a long way from it's goals.
 

Related to Is it possible to use 3D printing to help end world hunger?

1. Can 3D printing create food from scratch?

No, 3D printing cannot create food from scratch as it requires ingredients to be inputted into the printer. 3D printers can only create objects based on the materials they are programmed to use.

2. How can 3D printing help end world hunger?

3D printing can help end world hunger by creating customizable and nutritious food options for individuals in need. This technology can also be used to produce food in areas with limited resources, reducing transportation costs and increasing food availability.

3. What types of food can be 3D printed?

Currently, 3D printing technology can create a wide range of food items including pasta, chocolate, and even meat. However, further research and development is needed to expand the variety of food that can be 3D printed.

4. Is 3D printed food safe to consume?

Yes, 3D printed food is safe to consume as long as the materials used are food-grade and the printing process is done in a controlled and hygienic environment. However, more safety regulations and standards may need to be established as this technology advances.

5. Will 3D printed food be accessible to those in developing countries?

In the future, 3D printed food could potentially be accessible to those in developing countries. However, for this to happen, there needs to be more affordable and accessible 3D printing technology and materials. Additionally, there would need to be support from organizations and governments to implement this technology in areas with high rates of hunger and poverty.

Similar threads

  • DIY Projects
Replies
8
Views
905
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Materials and Chemical Engineering
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
27
Views
3K
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Sticky
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
17
Views
9K
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
15
Views
5K
Back
Top