Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Dishmaking Machine

PostedNovember 20, 2005

Download File (mp3)

Need more plates for all those guests?  Leonardo Bonanni, an MIT engineering grad student, has made an experimental machine that custom molds nice hard dishware in about ninety seconds.  He says you just push a few buttons to select the number and type of place settings.  Up to 150 reusable discs of non-toxic acrylic are softened by heat, then shaped into your desired plates, bowls, and cups.  After dinner, you would just put the dirty dishes back in the dishwasher-sized machine for a quick wash before they're melted back to those easily stored discs.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

Researchers say it will probably be five to ten years before you can actually buy the DishMaker, so don't throw out your dishes yet.  To see the machine and find out more about this, and other "Innovative Engineering" stories, go to and look under "Features."


  • The design of DishMaker (PDF file, 758 KB)
  • Meet the DishMaker and watch it form and recyle a dish, then shape it into a different dish
  • Explore other research at MIT's Media Lab