3D Printing is the sexy technology that gets most of the spotlight as it pertains to the world of “Bits & Atoms“. It is an indisputably cool technology, but it is expensive, hard to use, and will face major barriers to mainstream adoption. Still, bits and atoms are fusing in interesting ways that highlight the skill and imagination of lead users, they are just coming from unexpected places.
An example of this creative explosion can be seen in the emergence of a meme where Oreo Cookies are baked inside chocolate chip cookies. This recipe wasn’t handed down from Alton Brown, Paula Deen, or any other Food Network star, but came up from food blogs.
Within 2 weeks on January 19th “Buns in my Oven” had created an homage to this new concoction.
Just a day later on January 20th“Becky Bakes” tried out the recipe and provided photos of the finished product that would rival anything in a food magazine for quality or styling.
I learned about the recipe on January 26th when someone I follow on Twitter tried the recipe and shared the results.
On February 3rd Amanda from Amandeline raised the bar by taking photos of the finished product and cooking process that would shame any production company working for the Discovery Channel or TLC.
By Feb 5th the recipe jumped the shark when CafeMom’s soulless CMS reduced the concept to a stale imitation of its true greatness.
However, on February 16th the first “Remix” appeared when the awesome blog Serious Eats upped the ante by creating a Nutter Butter cookie, stuffed inside a double chocolate chip cookie.
So within 6 weeks a recipe was created, crossed the country, and was reborn with tools found in any kitchen, ingredients found in any supermarket, and the passion of some “ordinary” foodies. This recipe gained a lot of traction in the social media world without endorsement from Rachel Ray or any other mainstream food press. People rightfully get excited about the future when 3D Printers can create replacement kidneys, but over the next 5 years (at least) I think a lot of innovation in “Personal Fabrication” will come in kitchens and garage workshops.
And while this may seem like a trifle in comparison to some of the more utopian visions for customization technology it could be serious business. Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks are the parent companies of the Food Network, TLC, HGTV, and a plethora of basic cable channels that feature cooking shows as their mainstream content. Together, their annual revenues exceed $5B. With YouTube creating educational programs to make better video producers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the basic cable empire crumble due to competition from amazing “amateurs” before the decade is out.