26 SERVO 09.2014
SWEET PROOF OF CONCEPT
Three students at MIT — Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim — have
created a homemade ice cream 3D printer that extrudes soft serve and immediately freezes it so
that it can be layered on a cooled plate, utilizing an off-the-shelf Cuisinart soft-serve maker.
The system is a proof-of-concept right now, but they were able to print some clever shapes.
According to Bunker:
We were inspired to design this printer because we wanted to make something fun with this up and
coming technology in a way that we could grab the attention of kids. We felt that it was just as important
to come up with a new technology as it was to interest the younger generation in pursuing science and
technology, so we can continue pushing the limits of what is possible.
The team worked on the project their spring semester at MIT and got it working to print a
star. They have no plans to commercialize it yet, but it seems like a clever and very useful hack.
“We ate a lot of ice cream making the machine, especially during the couple all-nighters when
ice cream became our midnight snack and breakfast. It was a great project and we had a lot of fun
working on it,” Bunker commented.
The team built the printer as part of Professor John Hart’s class in additive manufacturing. They
used a Solidoodle printer to control the plate and the stream, and froze the ice cream as it came
out with liquid nitrogen. As you can imagine, it melted quite often, resulting in a pool of sweet