Baby steps, as the saying goes. This week saw one of the wackier 3D-printing news items in recent memory: Expecting parents now have the option to celebrate gestation with a life-size model of their progeny in utero. 3D Babies uses ultrasound data to generate a fetus figurine, a kind of memento partum: "Your 3D Baby will be a treasured family remembrance of your pregnancy and new baby."
If we're a decade out from the first generation of Facebook babies—a generation that has had its entire life documented, from delivery to present-day, in digital media—just give it a few more years for kids to be embarrassed by that weird ABS curio next to the baby pictures on the mantle... or stranger yet, a sculpture of a certain enfant célèbre (pardon my French), North West herself. If the availability of Kanye & Kim's kid is where it gets into possible hoax territory, let's just say it was kind of a stillborn idea from the start, elevating helicopter parenthood into something rather creepier.
For now, we'll content ourselves with other, more tasteful innovations in 3D printing. A few weeks ago, CES saw the launch of 3D Systems' ChefJet series, which offer digifab edibles for the masses (or at least the early adopters), as seen in the video below:
They've followed up the reveal with the news that they're partnering with Hershey's to make customizable CAD Candy. No word on availability or cost, but the concept alone ought to be enough to make WIlly Wonka jealous.
Meanwhile, a group of Dutch food designers has come up with an Icepop Generator. MELT Icepops handily surpassed their crowdfunding goal on Voordekunst; from what I can gather, they're putting the money towards some kind of freezer-mounted 3-axis CNC machine that can carve popsicles into custom shapes.
Those of you without a sweet tooth might prefer Natural Machines' previously-seen "Foodini" printer, which has since proven itself in pizza form. (Alas, their website is still a placeholder for the time being.)
Let's just say that extruders are no longer just for the icing on the cake—they might just be able to produce the cake itself.