Bristol-based designers have created a concept 3D printer that combines facial recognition with a hot plate and layers of batter (concept illustrated)
Forget selfies burnt into toast and marshmallows printed with your portrait, the next trend will be to have your face immortalised on a pancake.
A research and design team has created a concept 3D printer that combines facial recognition with a hot plate and layers of batter to create complex images.
And the printing has the capability to be perfectly timed using algorithms so the lighter and darker tones of the face are captured, and cooked, with precision.
It uses Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology to convert online designs into numbers, similar to coordinates on a graph.
This is combined with embedded face recognition and tracking software to ‘print’ layers of batter directly onto a hot plate.
In particular, the concept technology uses a digital camera combined with image processing libraries to perform face tracking and extraction.
Kinneir Dufort has developed bespoke software that is capable of turning this into contours for the batter dispenser.
The darkest areas would be deposited first, through four distinct shades to the lightest areas.
Once applied to the hot plate, the batter would start to cook and change colour meaning that as subsequent layers were laid down, the printer would add different tones to the image.
The firm said: ‘Achieving the perfect result is a delicate balance between batter viscosity, speed of application and maintaining the correct temperature on the plate.
And prototyping director Ian Hollister added: ‘The real challenge was to create a program that enables the picture to be completed from start to finish within the exact timescale for the overall pancake to cook.
‘Too little time and the darker tones wouldn’t be achieved, too long and the pancake would burn.’
The concept uses Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology to convert online designs into numbers, similar to coordinates on a graph. Dubbed ‘interactive eating experience’, the machine is currently a tongue-in-cheek concept but the firm told MailOnline the technology (mock-up example illustrated) is possible
Dubbed ‘interactive eating experience’, the technology is currently a tongue-in-cheek concept but the firm told MailOnline the machine is possible.
‘All of the 3D printing of food will be possible soon; we are just dipping our toes in the water in relation to the capabilities,’ explained Bronwen Rolls from Kinneir Dufort.
‘We can create the software, we could create final product eventually, but at this moment we are very much at the conceptual stages.
‘Our next field of interest is how we can take chocolate and sugar and work with them as they are potentially a more interesting candidate to work with as they could yield greater structural qualities.
‘Why stop at the pancake and faces, we could one day print chocolate forms of whole heads?’
Miguel Valenzuela, from Oslo, Norway, recently built a 3D pancake printer using Lego called PancakeBot.
The father-of-two wrote on an Indiegogo page that his unique invention was inspired by his daughters, and he built the contraption to help inspire children to become interested in engineering.
The original idea came in 2010 after Mr Valenzuela read about a British designer who created a pancake stamping machine also made out of the plastic bricks.
Videos posted to YouTube show the machine ‘printing’ words and designs such as hearts and galloping horses onto a griddle below.
Miguel Valenzuela, from Oslo, Norway, recently built a 3D pancake printer using Lego called PancakeBot. Videos posted to YouTube show the machine ‘printing’ words and designs such as hearts and galloping horses onto a griddle below (grab pictured)