Beehex, a company who won a federal grant in 2013 to build a 3D printer to print food in space has had its 2nd grant pulled. However, the company has now set its sights on hungry sports fans and theme parks visitors. Its goal is to create customized, 3D printed pizzas where customers can order a pizza through an app, pay remotely and pick up the pizza once its finished.
"One thing we’re trying to solve is the half time bottleneck when everyone rushes to concessions,” said Jordan French, BeeHex chief marketing officer.
The original 3D printer would have been really useful in space when astronauts get sick for example because you would have the ability to change nutritional requirements on demand. Also with long missions in space, it helps to have a bit of variety (as opposed to normal unappetizing space food) says Former NASA astronaut Ken Bowersox, who worked on the International Space Station in 2003.
"Let’s say it could make different types of bread or noodle dishes, things that are tough to make up there, they’ll get used for sure,” he said. “Pizza’s a big one. It would be nice to print a pizza.”
Now that the printer has shifted away from its celestial duties, the printers design has had to change. Originally the printer mixed together ingredients with specific nutrients required for each astronaut and then printed out. However since its design change, restaurants can simply pour in pre-made ingredients such as pizza dough, sauce and cheese and they will be pumped out through the appropriate nozzle.
Apparently, the machine can even clean itself and takes only 4 minutes to make a pizza, much faster than a human pizza chef! All this talk about pizza is making me very hungry :)
Check out the printer in the video below: