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Food Creator and dispensor Answered

This project is currently in the research stage. Having been reading the books 'Zero to Maker' by David Lang (OpenROV) and 'The Toaster Project' by Thomas Thwaites I have realised what I need is a project with a goal to take me out of the Arduino blinky light and solder kit zone, in to real making/hacking. Lang suggests an 'Unknown Project' which as I understand it is one that has been unexplored or under-explored, and he also suggests that using a popular forum to log, share and discus ideas would help the process along.

So my idea, is an open hardware food creating machine, that will produce a large array of food, from a limited array of ingredients (approx 50) that can be made easily, and a ingredient markup language.

3d food printers in current development are either impractical or unappealing to me. They range from candy makers, ones that still need to be hand finished and cooked or the one publicised for receiving NASA funding recently used dead bugs. They seem all to focus on the gimmick, and not the food, and I like food. The other approach is the barbots, which seem to mostly perform flawlessly, but are unable to produce food.

So my approach is to work through the process logically and break it down to sub projects.

Design meals by hand using the limited ingredients for proof of concept, choose the ingredients to provide the widest possible range of nutrients and transpose the recipies to psudocode that can be easilly transformed in to a markup language later.

Design a process for mixing and cooking ingredients. I envision a system of different food processors, steamers, boilers etc. and a range of extruding dies.

Design a self cleaning system. Possibly ultrasonic or ionic.

To that end, here is my preliminary list of ingredients.
sugar, salt, oil, water, co2,Alcohol 37.5%,pectin,bicarb,nutritional yeast
coffee,tea,mint,cocoa,garlic,oregano,chilli powder, paprika
lemon extract,orange extract,tomato powder,dried apple,dried carrots,dried peas,potato powder.
These ingredients can be used to make among other things, sausages, burgers, curry's, pasta, fries, soups, cereals, 'cider', cocktails, deserts, sodas, sauces, egg cheese and milk substitutes.

So that's my plan. What do you guy think, and what ingredients would you add and why? And what would you call it? There are loads of things I left out as everything will change as I work through the process.

Thanks for reading,


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6 years ago

I work primarily with food safety. Got a couple q's. What are you trying to cook? I would limit it to one food for now but with the option to expand. Then create a haccp plan and develop a machine that can do that.
You want the machine to clean itself. Again you will need a plan for cleaning with measurable goals for what clean is. You will need ph indicators for sanitizers. Temp probs for low end all the way to biolum for high end.


Reply 6 years ago

Hi Matt, thanks for replying.
I would like to be able to cook anything(or a close aproximation) by the final revision. If I were to choose just one, I would pick sausages, as I know they can be produced well using only high yeild veg, herbs and spices. Appart from salt I wanted everything to be growable in a greenhouse. The self cleaning would possibly be hot rinse and steam and/or alcohol, combined with surface coatings, but this would come in much later, I am more concerned with safe cooking at this stage, so temp probes will be essential.
You've given me a lot to think about, so I think a will come up with a plan for a machine that will mix, extrude, cook and serve sausages based on a user flavor selection.