Benjamin Greimel, from the new creative robotics laboratory at the University of Arts and Design in Linz Austria, with their partner Philipp Hornung, presented the concept as a 3D liquid printing method. The design consists of forming figures inside a drink made by a KUKA robotic arm that injects microliters of edible liquid (oil type) in a drink to form 3D patterns.

This new idea is an alternative designed to impact the events sector, where you want to give a different added value: for example during business celebration you can create the company logo on your drink.

How was this fusion of art and science achieved?

Greimel started with the idea as a job in the graduate school. The project was to combine an industrial robot with food handling; He said: “after many tests done by students, I managed to manufacture the first prototype (print head), something very basic as well, which I applied to a contest “in residence” of the creative region which I won. After that, the prize was an investment with which I could make more prototypes”. Using a compact, streamlined white kuka robot with a micro-dosing component (a long metal needle) and an edible liquid in it, he soon realized this 3d printing concept had not been seen.

The kuka robot introduces and locates the drops of the liquid inside the drink with great precision, generating the pre-established shape; this figure remains suspended thanks to the used liquid, an edible oil and the components of the drink itself. Drinks with high alcohol content are not suitable for this idea yet.

This project made almost 100 recipes to achieve the expected result. The bottom line is that drinks must be semi-transparent to see the design, the actual printing process takes approximately 60 seconds per drink. The drinks suitable for 3D printing are cocktails based on vodka-lime and apple-hazelnut or apple and hazelnut.

Greimel comments that this project contains greater capacity as a marketing tool in which he is working, finally he has seen positive reactions from the public that has attended to see Print a Drink.