A freezer and a 3-D printer are at the centre of an invention which holds out the prospect of an end to the misery of melting ice cream.
A group of students at leading US research establishment the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have released a video of their process for manufacturing ice cream which can keep its shape.
The print head of the 3-D printer has been adapted as a nozzle through which soft-serve ice cream can be served.
The ice cream is then blasted with a jet of liquid nitrogen, which immediately freezes it into place.
Tech website Gizmodo reports that, to ensure that the printed ice cream doesn't immediately start to melt, the entire bed of the printer is encased in a freezer operating at standard sub-zero temperatures.
The bad news for lovers of the idea of a perfect, drip-free ice cream cone is that the students have only produced their concept at this stage to prove that the science behind it is sound, and currently have no plans to make it a commercial project.