Here at 3D Rapid Print, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
On October 7th 2019, food technology start-up Aleph Farms of Rehovot, Israel collaborated with 3D Bioprinting Solutions of Moscow, Russia, 3D printing a steak onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Aleph Farms had previously unveiled what they described as “the first cell-grown minute steak” in December 2018, proclaiming that it had the same appearance, shape and texture as meat cut from a cow. (Synthetic meat can be grown by extracting muscle tissue samples from a live animal and stimulating them to replicate in laboratory conditions.)
Despite the ISS clearly having objectively limited resources relative to on Earth, bioprinting in space had its advantages. On Earth, the cell tissues must be supported by a lattice structure while being printed, and only one side can be developed at a time. In zero-gravity, cell tissues can be simultaneously built from all sides without a support structure, making bioprinting meat in space easier and much faster. (Bioprinting refers to mixing biomaterials like animal cells with growth factors, and “printing” the resulting “bioink” into a layered structure. The term growth factor can be defined as “a substance that affects the growth of a cell or an organism.”)
The first lab-grown burger was unveiled to the masses in August 2013. Despite costing €250,000(!) (at the time circa $330,000), it was seen as a truly significant proof of concept for producing beef without meat production’s associated environmental costs. Aleph Farms intends to build on the success of its experiment and make cultivated beef steaks available on Earth within the next few years, furthering their vision of environmentally sustainable meat production for future generations.
3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.
Disclaimer: Featured image of “Pieter Aertsen – Market Scene – Google Art Project” is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The author of the work of art itself died in 1575, ergo it is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.