Elaboration of dimensional quality in 3D-printed food: Key factors in process steps

Yaxin Wen, Quang Tuan Che, Shaoyun Wang, Hyun Jin Park, Hyun Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Three-dimensional (3D) printing has been applied to produce food products with intricate and fancy shapes. Dimensional quality, such as dimensional stability, surface smoothness, shape fidelity, and resolution, are essential for the attractive appearance of 3D-printed food. Various methods have been extensively studied and proposed to control the dimensional quality of printed foods, but few papers focused on comprehensively and deeply summarizing the key factors of the dimensional quality of printed products at each stage—before, during, and after printing—of the 3D printing process. Therefore, the effects of pretreatment, printing parameters and rheological properties, and cooking and storage on the dimensional quality of the printed foods are summarized, and solutions are also provided for improving the dimensional quality of the printed products at each step. Before printing, incorporating additives or applying physical, chemical, or biological pretreatments can improve the dimensional quality of carbohydrate-based, protein-based, or lipid-based printed food. During printing, controlling the printing parameters and modifying the rheological properties of inks can affect the shape of printed products. Furthermore, post-processing is essential for some printed foods. After printing, changing formulations, incorporating additives, and selecting post-processing methods and conditions may help achieve the desired shape of 3D-printed or 4D-printed products during cooking. Additives help in the storage stability of printed food. Finally, various opportunities have been proposed to regulate the dimensional properties of 3D-printed structures. This review provides detailed guidelines for researchers and users of 3D printers to produce various printed foods with the desired shapes and appearances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 Institute of Food Technologists®.


  • 3D food printing
  • dimensional quality
  • factor
  • process
  • rheological property

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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