The world’s first liquid-based 3D food printer
nūfood is the world’s first liquid-based 3D food printer, offering the ability to create juicy bites in a variety of shapes, flavours and colours on-demand. Dovetailed invented the technique and designed and built a beautiful robot which enables the user to unleash their culinary creativity.
Born out of a hackathon, the original concept was inspired by scientific advances in tissue printing. Dovetailed designed the elegant form and experience to bring more interesting interactions and movement, adding playfulness and joy to cooking.
Mechanical and electronics design
Mobile app development
Design for Manufacture (DFM)
Ideation and prototyping
We developed prototypes using off-the-shelf parts to create a technical demonstrator which proved our novel 3D printing technique worked. We refined the robotics, fluidics, electronics and software using rapid prototyping and iterative techniques using tools in our lab in Cambridge and we worked with manufacturers locally and further afield.
There is an App for it!
We know that designing in 3D is very complex and time consuming. So to fuse the user's creativity, we designed an app that allows sketching with pixels on graph paper. There is a library of designs to choose from. Press <Play> and the desired flavour burst will be 3D printed in a matter of minutes.
The app also allows new flavour pairings to be printed in a single shape.
Available on iOS and Android.
Crafting the experience
Our aim was to create a robot that is fun and easy to use. For this, we took our printer to many expos and events and collected user feedback in a systematic way. This allowed us to understand how people would use nūfood in their homes and then we iterated the design accordingly - our printer is fast, fuels creativity, is convenient to use and very easy to keep clean.
Ready for your kitchen
The printer is now ready for commercial manufacture. Throughout our user research and design process, we ensured that manufacturing costs were always kept in mind through regular reviews. We were able to significantly minimise the number of tooling parts required, which saved on the overall costs of manufacturing. We therefore created a minimum lovable product in a lean way. nūfood has received a high level of interest and attention from both the general public and renowned chefs from around the world.