The Plate Maker

By David Ponce

This should make granola types, treehuggers and lazy bums worldwide rejoice. MITs Media Lab’s Counter Intelligence Group, which develops innovative kitchen designs, has created a machine that makes dishes on demand. And the innovation doesn’t stop there. When you’re done eating, the machine will take your used plate, and recycle it on the spot. And it’s not some cardboard-y fugly plate either.

The dishes are made from food-grade, nontoxic acrylic wafers, which are shaped into cups, bowls and plates when heated, then resume their original wafer shape when they are reheated and pressed.

Guys, the plates look good. It’s the kind of stuff I’d buy at Ikea for, hell, at least $5.

The oven sized machine holds up to 150 wafers and can mold a plate up every 90 seconds, so you’re not likely to run out of plates if you use this in, say, a restaurant. The dishes are about 6 inches in diameter, but you can adjust the machine for bigger.

To recycle the dishes, it heats them to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit to soften the acrylic, then a press restores them to wafers for easy stacking.

No word on whether it cleans them first.

So, um, of course, you can’t actually buy this just yet. You can read the Wired article if you wish instead. Story VIA Kitchen Contraptions.