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The next frontier for 3D printing? Ice cream

Watch out, ice cream trucks. Three MIT students have built the world's first 3D printer that prints out sweet, delicious ice cream.

3D printing is being used for some pretty incredible things. Surgeons in Spain used the technology to assist in a complicated pediatric surgery; classrooms are using 3D-printed cadavers to teach anatomy; and NASA is 3D printing whole nebulas from outer space.

Some projects even let you 3D print your food -- and the coolest of these (literally) is an awesome new endeavor from three students at MIT who built the world's first ice cream 3D printer. Students Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim adapted a Solidoodle printer to take soft-serve ice cream made from a Cuisinart Soft Serve machine, instantly freeze it with liquid nitrogen, and print out a fully edible (and reportedly delicious) ice cream star.

As you'd expect, the testing phases often ended with a melted pile of sweet, sad goo. But with a little tweak to the amount of liquid nitrogen, their latest test runs are mostly perfectly formed with little melt. The team doesn't have any plans to commercialize their creation just yet. But as someone who absolutely loves ice cream and 3D printing, we hope they get this plan on the rocky road soon.

(Via 3DPrint)