United States (Houston)
Mechanical engineer and Star Trek fan Anjan Contractor fascinated the world when he demonstrated a 3D printer that could print pizza back in 2013. With its development initially funded by NASA for its astronauts, whose food is usually freeze-dried and prepackaged to be eaten in microgravity on missions, the BeeHex Hex Series 3D printer has cartridges of powder with a shelf life of 30 years which create nutritional meals layer by layer.
Space travellers can one day look forward to saying bye to beef brisket and prawn cocktails and hello to extra toppings. But more importantly, as of March 2016, BeeHex solved the problematic dripping and leakage that plagues other 3D printers and announced the development of one for consumer kitchens.
This could solve problems like food shortage, famine, inflation and starvation: “BeeHex’s goal is to serve underprivileged people with tools to eat custom-made, safe and delicious foods,” founding CMO Jordan French tells us. “One humanitarian effect of BeeHex 3D printers is that we will be able to provide on-demand fresh food anywhere in the world, including following natural disasters.”
Contractor’s ultimate goal is for the 3D printer to be the next product to be taken for granted in every kitchen: “I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently,” Contractor explains. “So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.”
Anjan Contractor and Jordan French, Co-founders, BeeHex, Inc.