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A Printer That Can Print Cupcakes?

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Using a printer to bake cupcakes sounds as crazy as using a jigsaw to cut a meatloaf, but the technology is out there and could provide the answer to your laziness.

One of the many techie-foodie goodies recently unveiled at the Consumer and Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the Imagine 3D printer made by Essential Dynamics. It can print food like cupcakes, chocolate and even cheese.

OK, lets back up a little here. A device that can "print" food?

Yep. For those of you who are new to this concept of 3D printing, it's a term used to describe the process of creating three dimensional objects from a digital file using materials that are preloaded into a single device programmed to manufacture them.

It's basically the same as building a car from a CAD file. This technology has existed since the early '80s and has mainly been used for manufacturing and research purposes. It was meant for industrial use and were huge, cumbersome and highly expensive devices that could only fit in large open spaces.

Lately there has been a surge in popularity among hobbyists for home applications, like making plastic or metal parts for machines, and companies have caught on by making smaller -- and a little less expensive -- 3D printers.

What sets Essential Dynamic's 3D printer itself apart from all the rest is its syringe design that allows it to print food, as well as other materials like cement, epoxy, silicone, etc. It can print a mini-chocolate cupcake in about one minute.

Another difference is that the Imagine 3D printer comes pre-assembled.

For a little pocket change of $3,000, plus shipping and handling, you can have one in your kitchen banging out mini-cupcakes for your slumber party while you sit back and sip champagne on the couch.

There's a long order list, so if you plan to get one soon, get your name on that list. But if you plan on getting one, do us one favor: please don't mix food and epoxy.

If we can somehow network this contraption with our smart refrigerator

and oven, we will no longer have to think about cooking ever again.

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