Deakin University

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Views on the usability, design, and future possibilities of a 3D food printer for people with dysphagia: outcomes of an immersive experience

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-10, 04:48 authored by B Hemsley, S Dann, C Reddacliff, R Smith, F Given, V Gay, TW Leong, E Josserand, K Skellern, C Bull, S Palmer, Susan BalandinSusan Balandin
Purpose: Although 3D food printing is expected to enable the creation of visually appealing pureed food for people with disability and dysphagia, little is known about the user experience in engaging with 3D food printing or the feasibility of use with populations who need texture-modified foods. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility and usability of using domestic-scale 3D food printer as an assistive technology to print pureed food into attractive food shapes for people with dysphagia. Materials and Methods: In total, 16 participants engaged in the unfamiliar, novel process of using a domestic-scale 3D food printer (choosing, printing, tasting), designed for printing pureed food, and discussed their impressions in focus group or individual interviews. Results and Conclusions: Overall, results demonstrated that informed experts who were novice users perceived the 3D food printing process to be fun but time consuming, and that 3D food printers might not yet be suitable for people with dysphagia or their supporters. Slow response time, lack of user feedback, scant detail on the appropriate recipes for the pureed food to create a successful print, and small font on the user panel interface were perceived as barriers to accessibility for people with disability and older people. Participants expected more interactive elements and feedback from the device, particularly in relation to resolving printer or user errors. This study will inform future usability trials and food safety research into 3D printed foods for people with disability and dysphagia. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION 3D food printers potentially have a role as an assistive technology in the preparation of texture-modified foods for people with disability and dysphagia. To increase feasibility, 3D food printers should be co-designed with people with disability and their supporters and health professionals working in the field of dysphagia and rehabilitation. Experts struggled to be able to print 3D pureed shapes owing to relatively low usability of the 3D food printer tested with problems using the interface and resolving problems in the print. 3D food printing is a fun and novel activity and may help to engage people with disability and dysphagia in making choices around the shape of the food to be printed.



Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology









Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal