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(Pocket-lint) - Most people prefer home-cooked meals but don't want to spend hours preparing them. Well, thanks to 3D-printing company Natural Machines, you'll soon be able to cook at home every night and waste no time at all.

Natural Machines has designed a 3D printer for food. It's called Foodini. It's not going to magically print out whatever your heart desires, though. It's more of a sous chef in that it prepares the bulk of your meal, and then you can add extra bits and cook it. It'll form a perfectly-round pizza, for instance, and put on an even layer of sauce too. But you'll still need to sprinkle on some cheese and do the baking.

"Foodini helps create savory or sweet cuisine. The food is real food, made from fresh ingredients prepared before printing," explained Foodini on its website. "Promoting cooking with fresh ingredients, Foodini manages the difficult and time-consuming parts of food preparation that often discourage people from creating homemade food."

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The machine, which will cost around $1,300 when it launches in mid-2014, looks like a sleek microwave and is capable of printing a wide range of foods including vegetarian nuggets made of chickpeas, bread crumbs, garlic, spices, olive oil, and salt. It can also prepare quiche, hash browns, cookies, crackers, brownies..the list goes on.

All you need to do is load the ingredients into Foodini's food capsules, and then watch it print your chosen recipe. Foodini will let you pick from a number of recipes or even build your own. Apart from helping you assemble a complicated dish, Foodini can also cut food into fancy shapes or elaborate decorations. Just imagine a chocolate dessert in the shape of a Christmas tree; Foodini can do most anything.

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Natural Machines described Foodini as a "new generation kitchen appliance that combines technology, food, art, and design". You can go to the company's website now to sign up for an alert that'll tell you when Foodini is available for purchase - or you can check out the video above to see the 3D food printer in action.

Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 20 February 2014.