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Turns out 3D printing with Easy Cheese isn't so easy

Delve into the complicated and messy world of spray-cheese 3D printing as a maker attempts to produce gooey cheese forts and cracker toppings. No, it's not an April Fools' joke.

Easy Cheese 3D printer
Cheese may not figure prominently in the future of 3D printing. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Innovations in 3D printing are coming fast and furious these days. There seems to be particular interest in food-related printers capable of making anything from pizza to pancakes. But the world has really been crying out for a spray-cheese printer, and now we have one in the form of the Easy Cheese 3D Printer.

The printer uses a special mechanism to trigger the cheese can while the print head moves around to position the cheese in the correct location. At least that's the idea. It doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes the trigger puller slips off, resulting in no cheese being dispensed. Sometimes the cheese bubbles up around the print head, creating a gooey mess.

There are a couple of minor moments of triumph. The printer does a decent job of squeezing a mound of cheese out onto a cracker, though it fails to cleanly disconnect the cheese stream. It also creates a passable spray-cheese fort in the form of a square with layers of cheese. Let's face it, this innovation isn't likely to attract NASA's attention.

The experiment comes from the creative mind of Andrew Maxwell-Parish, manager of the Hybrid Lab at the California College of the Arts. Previously, he designed an interactive tip jar called the Wu-Tang Can and a High Five Camera for capturing high fives with strangers. Suddenly, the Easy Cheese 3D printer concept doesn't seem so out there anymore.

Check out the video of the Easy Cheese 3D Printer test. Just be prepared for some low-key frustrated swearing as the printer misbehaves.