Is this the restaurant of the future? 3D printing, VR headsets and AI composed music

Later this month, a 3D-printing pop-up restaurant, called “Food Ink”, will open in London. The restaurant promises to offer a completely different dining experience, rather than being served food that has been cooked and prepared by a chef, customers will be offered a selection of 3D-printed food items by the British tech company.

3D-printing food as a concept isn’t necessarily new, but Food Ink have taken it a little further with a pop-up restaurant where the food gets served by portable 3D-printers operated by chefs using their own original, 3D-printing specific, recipes. Furthermore, all of the restaurants furniture, including lamps and utensils will be specifically 3D-printed for the occasion.

Photo credit: avlxyz via / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: avlxyz via / CC BY-NC-SA

Indeed, Food Ink has reportedly designed the entire restaurant to feel futuristic, including virtual reality headsets, visual projections on the surrounding walls and AI-composed sounds/music.

The 3D-printers used for the event are called Focus, designed by 3D by flow, a Dutch company. It is one of the world’s first portable, multimaterial printers, and it is company, mobile and can print with over 20 different materials. Anything that can be turned into an edible paste can be put through the Focus’ extruders. Original good stuffs will be printed layer-by-layer, with the expectation that they’ll offer a slightly different taste experience than regular gourmet dining, and they’ll be accompanied by more traditionally prepared side dishes and garnishes.

This isn’t supposed to represent a model of a practical potential future, but rather to serve as an inspiration for the possibilities that technology might enable. Critically, it asks questions about the very nature of food itself and how it is produced.
Food Ink intend to live stream the events on their website with the intention to go onto stage similar events in many of the world’s largest cities.
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Seb Egerton-Read

Seb Egerton-Read

Seb writes daily content for Circulate across the full spectrum of the website's topics. Previously he has spent five years as a freelance writer for a number of websites and blogs. You can e-mail Seb at seb[at]