ITP, or the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU churns out some of the most reliably interesting tech-centric artists in the world. Every so often, the school opens its doors to the public and the press and, of course, we jumped at the chance to see what the grad students were cooking up… literally. Marko Manriquez took the opportunity to showcase his thesis project, the Burritob0t, a 3D printer the spits out edible piles of beans and cheese, instead of non-toxic (but, highly inedible) plastic. The base is built largely around a standard RepRap machine, with the Frostruder attachment from MakerBot. From there it’s pretty simple to plug in any 3D model and build your creation from highly-processed Mexican food — on a heated platform from the Thingomatic, of course.
Marko says that his creation not only seemed like a logical way to combine “edible bits and digital bytes” but also a way to address the increasingly mechanized food industry and our growing reliance on manufactured “food.” Sadly, we weren’t able to get a complete demo on the show floor. The current incarnation of the device relies on air pressure to push the ingredients through syringes, and firing up the compressor was not an option. A Kickstarter is forthcoming, however, and Marko plans to upgrade the components to ditch the bulky and loud compressor. He also hopes to actually serve food from his printer, perhaps by taking up residence in a park. But, we suspect it’ll be a while before you can get a Burritob0t burrito while you wait for your Concrete from Shake Shack. Check out the video after the break.