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Optical Baking: CO2 Laser Browning of Dough [pdf] (peterchencyc.com)
27 points by reedwolf 36 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

I once laser engraved a few hundred digits of pi onto an apple pie for Pi Day, using a 400W CO2 laser in the student machine shop at our research lab [0]. By using higher power at faster scan speeds you can get depth rather than burning. I also once tried slicing slab bacon with it, with the goal of cooking it while cutting. I was pretty sure doing so would win the internet, but I aborted the attempt when it became clear the water content was too high and the grease would make a significant mess.

There's a group in Japan that had done a number of experiments with laser cutters and food, including using computer vision recognition to identify and then only cook the fat in a slice of bacon [1].

[0] https://guavaduck.com/laser-pie/

[1] https://fukuchilab.org/projects/laser-cooking

There’s something musical about the Pi laser going back and forth:


I looked into buying CO2 laser and built one own my own.

It doesn't need much, just couple of aluminium extrusions for frame and V wheel for motion and couple of Nema17 motors. Also cooling for tube and optics.

But laser tube life is crap, I am still waiting for cheap laser systems to come to market but it seems there is nothing cheaper than CO2 available in 60-100w range.

How soon can I buy baked goods with images on them?

You can do this with cakes or anything else that will take the output of a food-safe printer.

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