Future Fruit Simulator & Food Printer

The Future Fruit Simulator is an innovative food customisation simulator and 3D printing system. From the Future Fruit BioLab you can access tools to create futuristic fruit based on actual plant development processes before sending it to a 3D Printer and is accessible on desktop computers, large multi-touch displays and in virtual reality (VR). > Project Process Blog.

Phase One (2016/17) the HUB Team collaborated with a team of plant development scientists led by Professor Roger Helens to create a novel interface for users to experiment with the design of virtual fruit and for researchers to garner insights into consumer preferences for fruit shape, colour, textures and taste. A machine learning system was also developed to analyse the likeness of the virtual fruit to existing fruits in order to understand what kinds of genetic modifications may be required to produce actual fruit based on the virtual models.

Phase Two (2017) The HUB Team experimented with the 3D printing of future fruit models using plastic prototyping materials only and additional processes and frameworks were documented to support Phase Three.

Phase Three (2018) we have a new team of collaborators, Professor Tim Dargaville and Dr Aurelien Forget (Materials Scientists), to develop new printing materials that are edible and new 3D printer functions that allow us to print gradient colours. The HUB Team will also develop new features to the interface to include tastes and nutrient compositions.

The initial prototype was selected for presentation at the World Science Festival in Brisbane in March 2017. World Science Festival has been held for over a decade in New York and now twice in Brisbane, in 2016 and 2017, with over 300,000 attendances. And from August 11 to 20, 2017 the Future Fruit Simulator represented the Department of Premier and Cabinet who built a large display that housed two large multitouch displays over a 5 metre wide and 2.5 metre high display at the QLD Government Precinct at the EKKA as part of the 140 years of Innovation in QLD Agriculture, a display that attracted up to 800 visitors per hour over the ten days! On August 5, the Future Fruit was featured on Scope TV – Scope is a popular children’s science show broadcast every Saturday and repeated on Thursdays on Eleven (formerly Network Ten since 2005) produced in association with the CSIRO.

Team

Deb Polson – Research and Design
Wade Taylor – 3D Art
Ryan Quagliata – Programming
Sarah Quijano – Graphic Production

Partners

Institute of Future Environments (IFE) at QUT, Catapult Funding Program Scheme, Round One for 2016.

Links

Process Blog – Further info on the team and development sprints
QUT Research Project Page
Multi-touch Demo – Video
VR Demo – Video
More Photos – Facebook Album