It’s a long way off, but we’re inching closer to the Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser from The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 3D printed food technology continues to be refined and improved; we can now punch a few buttons to create pizza for astronauts, pureed meals for senior citizens, and all sorts of fun, interesting candy.
The principal benefits of 3D printing food is that you don’t need a kitchen or a chef to create fresh, customizable meals. And if there’s one place where fresh, customizable meals are sorely needed, it’s on an airplane.
All photos: The Ninjas
Enter the Sky Kitchen, a concept created by a group of design students (who have awesomely termed themselves The Ninjas) at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. The video above explains their vision for in-flight meals that offer a choice of dish, ingredients, and even the shape of the food, because anyone who has flown knows that it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep the kids happy.
“Let’s all be completely honest here, we all know it: on-flight meals suck,” says the video’s narrator. Preach. The Ninja’s prototype uses an interface similar to an in-flight entertainment system, which let’s you choose from a menu of items that can be made to order. This is what breakfast on a plane could look like.
The Sky Kitchen concept works like a restaurant in that you pay for what you order, rather that getting a “free” meal that was built into the cost of your ticket. But we’ll pay the damn money to eat fresh blueberry waffles at 35,000 feet and never again have to choke down a congealed lump of what was once scrambled eggs.