As the brave new world of molecular gastronomy continues to amaze foodies throughout the world, great practitioners of the art form, chefs like Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago and Ferran Adrià of the now-shuttered elBulli in Catalonia, Spain, will surely find themselves under increased pressure to innovate, to keep pushing the edge of the culinary envelope.

And that’s no small task, especially considering that, even now, we have pastry chefs adorning their dessert creations with sculpture sugar as intricately complicated as the human circulatory system.

Perhaps a new tool is needed, something along the lines of the ChefJet Pro, the world’s first professional-grade 3D food printer.

Developed by 3DS Culinary, the ChefJet Pro will empower the culinary world to achieve unsurpassed levels of artistry and design, ushering the industry into an era of digital craftsmanship.

According to 3DS Culinary, 3D printing represents a paradigm shift for the culinary arts, transforming ingredients into a dimensional, structural medium and enabling architectural, intricate and utterly customized forms, including ornate cake and cupcake toppers, bespoke candies and mints, delicate latticework over which a cocktail is poured, logo sugar cubes to sweeten coffee at a corporate event, just to name a few.

The possibilities are endless, the only limitation a chef’s imagination.

“We see this as one more tool that chefs have at their disposal,” says Liz von Hasseln, Creative Director, Food, at 3DSysytems.  “We’re not replacing anything they do by any means. We’re just adding to the capabilities they can bring to bear to execute their vision.  [Our goal] is to bridge the gap between the hard-earned manual artisanship that chefs innately possess and this new kind of digital artisanship.”

The ChefJet Pro will offer users a variety of options for tackling their digital designs, including a library of ready to print digital models available on the 3DSystems website; easy-to-use and chef-specific design software included with the printer; and, finally, uploading a digital file of a 3D scan.  These options are sure to expand over time, however, especially with the impending grand opening of a culinary lab at 3DS Culinary’s Los Angeles offices, a place von Hasseln says will be “dedicated to exploring what we see as this wide open landscape of culinary 3D printing.”