Finally, 3-D printing enthusiasts might soon have something to bring to a party other than homemade action figures and generic plastic cubes: Gizmodo has a new video from Ireland’s University College, Cork, showing scientists working on the problem of 3-D printed cheese.
Now, lest you get all excited at the thought of the dairy of the future, building fine muenster or gouda from dust and the day’s detritus, it’s worth noting that the key ingredient for these 3-D cheeses is pretty disappointing: regular, non-3-D printed cheese. You see, the researchers behind the project are less interested in building Star Trek-esque dairy replicators at the moment, than they are in finding out what happens to the physical structure of cheese when you melt it down and extrude it using a printer.
Shockingly, the answer is: it gets kind of gloopy. For instance, the video shows what happens when you try to build a cylinder of processed, extruded cheese, a sight that should be familiar to anyone whose hubris has led them to over-pile some Easy Cheese on a Ritz. The researchers do appear to have more success with flatter treats, like a whipped mascarpone bear, but for now, An American Tale’s dream of a world where the streets are paved with readily available, road-safe cheese remains in the realm of science fantasy, not science fact.
[Note: Gizmodo, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]