3D printers create custom alcoholic beverages

Watch out, latte art, there’s a new artsy drink in town. Brands are using 3D printing technology to create customized alcoholic beverages, appealing to young consumers’ enthusiasm for personalization. The 3D printed drinks not only offer customers a unique drinking experience but also provide them with Insta-worthy snapshots that they can share to their social media feeds.


The Maryland-based company Ripples made a name for itself with its Coffee Ripple machine that could print any image onto latte foam. Today, the company is diversifying its beverage printing capabilities by applying the technology to beer. The Beer Ripple machine can print high resolution images onto the surface of beer foam using edible malt-based ink. Consumers can choose what they want printed on their beer from Ripple’s image library or use the free app to upload any picture from their phones. Young people will appreciate the novelty of having any image in their camera roll printed atop a frothy beer in seconds, making for the perfect Instagrammable beverage.


To celebrate this year’s FIFA World Cup and to encourage viewers to put down their phones and focus on the game, Swedish beer brand Norrlands Guld migrated social media updates from people’s phones to the tops of their drinks. The company built a 3D printer that printed World Cup tweets onto the beer foam of fans’ drinks. Customers needed only to tweet their messages and, within seconds, their sentiments could be served up cold. Norrlands Guld debuted the printer during Sweden’s rehearsal game with Denmark and it was available in select Swedish bars as the World Cup unfolded.


Austrian company Print A Drink is taking cocktail art to a new level with its 3D beverage printer. The printer injects individual microliter droplets into a beverage, creating fun and unique geometric patterns that can maintain shape for 15 to 20 minutes. The printer uses colored olive oil which is able to stay suspended within mixtures of juices, syrups, and spirits. The printer has a long way to go before it hits the market, but its creators hope that its next iteration will be more user-friendly for bars. If achieved, the technology could provide people with custom beverages that double as works of art.