That Star Trek food replicator we always wanted is here! (Kinda.)

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

You know how on Star Trek Captain Picard is always going up to his replicator and coming away with tea, mug and all? Well, MIT's "Cornucopia" food printer won't create the plate, but it is designed to build you a meal from the ground up to exact specifications.

The conceptual Cornucopia takes a page from 3D printers, which are already very real. Instead of just recreating a model, though, the Cornucopia would be able to tailor the specific ingredients present in a dish, thereby also determining its nutritional value.

It's kind of like what people are already doing with microwavable meals, but now you're cutting out the middleman for weird, knobby doohickeys that squirt out paste. Check out a render of the Cornucopia's nozzles down below.

(written by Kevin Hall, originally published at DVICE)