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10 Ways 3-D Printing Could Change the World


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Fancy Candies
These edible confections were made in the 3D Systems ChefJet Pro 3D food printer and displayed at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
These edible confections were made in the 3D Systems ChefJet Pro 3D food printer and displayed at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a company called 3D Systems exhibited a pair of 3-D printer systems that were customized to make candy from ingredients such as chocolate, sugar infused with vanilla, mint, sour apple, and cherry and watermelon flavorings. The confections were created by spreading a thin layer of flavored sugar and painting water on top of it using a jet print head. This generated a substance of hardened crystals. Not only was the finished product edible, but the makers could actually create candies in unusual geometric shapes, and even fashion sweets with moving parts [source: Kelion].

And that's not the only food on the 3-D radar. A company called Natural Machines recently unveiled a 3-D printing device called the Foodini, which can print ravioli pasta. Yet another company, Dovetailed, came up with a method of reshaping fruit puree into custom-molded simulated fruits [source: Milkert].