Back in 2013, when NASA was still setting its sights on a human mission to Mars, a team of Texas researchers won a federal grant to build a 3D printer that could pump out customized food in space.
The natural first choice for a demo? Pizza, of course.
But just after the first version was finished and a second grant was due to arrive, researcher Anjan Contractor and his team at the Systems and Materials Research Corporation in Austin, Texas, received the discouraging news that their second grant had been pulled. Congressional budget cuts forced the space agency to give up auxiliary projects aimed at a future Mars mission, including work on the 3D food printer.
So Contractor decided to reformat the idea into a more earthly enterprise and start a company, BeeHex. Setting his aim at hungry sports fans and theme park visitors, BeeHex’s goal is to make customized, on-demand 3D printed pizzas at concerts and arenas. Customers would order the pizza through an app, pay remotely and pick up the meal once it’s finished. […]
BeeHex’s printer is set up so restaurants can pour in pre-made ingredients, like pizza dough, that will be pumped out through multiple nozzles. There’s a dough nozzle, a sauce nozzle and, of course, a cheese nozzle. The company also touts the machine as self-cleaning and faster than a pizza chef (four minutes for BeeHex verses nine minutes for a human).
Photo by IPASadelaide