To attract out-of-the-box thinkers, IKEA is now taking a closer look at food 3D printing and, more specifically, at 3D printing (a meat-free version of) its famous reindeer meatballs. A video on the company’s YouTube channel asks potential employees to “meet for a job interview over some 3D printed meatballs”.
This is the latest occasion for the furniture and design giant to suggest it is seriously thinking about implementing additive manufacturing in its creative processes and, eventually, manufacturing workflows. Just a couple of weeks ago we reported on the first commercial 3D printed products to go on sale on the company’s German eCommerce website. Apparently, they are not fully available yet, but the transition, which began with a project undertaken with Irish AM service provider WAZP almost two years ago, is definitely underway. And that was just the latest in a series of touch-and-go projects involving AM.
Now it’s 3D printed food and specifically the Foodini 3D food printer from Natural Machines, taken as an example of innovative and creative thinking. In addition, Natural Machines’ outlook on making food more natural and healthy through mass customization and 3D printing is actually very much in line with IKEA’s own approach to making design furniture universally accessible in an increasingly sustainable way.
Food printing has not really yet made it into the mainstream, although it is slowly making gains among high-end chefs, including some molecular cuisine specialists. Contrary to common beliefs, molecular cuisine uses green chemistry approaches to revisit and mix traditional flavors and dishes through new techniques and forms. IKEA is looking for this kind of inventiveness to fill many future roles boosting its digital presence with “people with imagination who want to make life at home better. Selected roles from cyber guardians to future architects”.
Interested parties can apply on ikea.com/tastethefuture