|Born||December 1979 (age 41)|
|🏳️ Citizenship||United States|
|🏫 Education||Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Business|
|🎓 Alma mater||The Ohio State University, University of Warwick|
Businessman, entrepreneur, mechanical engineer
|🏢 Organization||Engineers Without Borders, American Society of Mechanical Engineers|
|Co-founder, BeeHex, 3D printing|
|🌐 Website||BeeHex Official Website|
Anjan Contractor (born December 2, 1979) is an American entrepreneur, inventor, mechanical engineer, philanthropist, and business executive. He is most well known for winning a NASA grant for building a 3D printer that successfully printed edible pizza. His company, BeeHex, Inc., commercializes 3D printing.
Early life and education
Contractor was born in Ahmedabad, India in 1979, and grew up in Columbus, Ohio with a father who worked for Walmart and a mother who worked at Chase Bank.
He graduated from Sharda Mandir High School and became interested in futuristic technology, especially food printing, from watching Star Trek. He earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degree in materials science and engineering at The Ohio State University. In 2013, he earned his MBA from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.
Contractor developed multiple prototypes of 3D printers throughout the late 2000s to print edible food, clothing, and complex shapes. His first start-up, iSpire, developed technology that harnessed energy from the weight of vehicles on roadways to power traffic lights and billboards. Contractor worked as a senior engineer and project manager at Systems and Materials Research Corporation, in Austin, Texas, to reconstitute dehydrated food ingredients to produce the inputs for 3D-printed pizza. In 2012, Contractor successfully printed chocolate on to a flat cookie. In 2013, Contractor’s 3D pizza printer prototype earned Systems and Materials Research Corporation a $125,000 grant from NASA, under its Small Business Innovation Research program for satisfying the requirements for a system that can print food for astronauts on very long space missions. Contractor also developed polymers, thermoplastics, and polyurethane materials to make durable, non-corrosive shapes using 3D printers.
In 2015, Contractor competed in the Food Lab Challenge at the University of Texas, where he deployed a multi-ingredient, dry-food 3D printer that can Contractor said that the printer can “print any three ingredients, so you can name anything – sushi or pasta or cinnamon rolls.”
In 2015, Contractor stated his intent for a universal food synthesizer in the form of a 3D printer in every household, with the ability to print healthy meals from powders, with a shelf-life of at least fifteen years.
In 2016, Contractor founded BeeHex, Inc. 3D printing to commercialize 3D food printing and other applications of 3D printer technology. BeeHex demonstrated 3D pizza printing with pizza in the shape of the United States at South by Southwest.
Engineers without Borders
In 2015, Contractor pioneered the Makers for Engineers without Borders movement, under the Engineers without Borders umbrella. Contractor was a frequent speaker at Maker Faire Rome in 2015, to advocate for a maker community as part of Engineers Without Borders to use computer-aided manufacturing to solve world-scale problems.
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- 3D printing
- "3D-printed pizza and tech 'groundbreaking' for ISS". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "NASA Backs Star Trek Style Replicator that could 3D Print Pizza in Space". Inhabitat. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Watch this 3D Printer Make Pizza Fit for Astronauts". The Verge. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "BeeHex". CrunchBase. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Tech Guru Anjan Contractor: 3D-printing is Securing a Better Future". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "Anjan Contractor of iSpire Talks About his Start Up". Angel Investing in Austin. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "WHY ASTRONAUT FOOD IS HEALTHIER WHEN IT IS MADE WITH A 3D PRINTER". European Food Journal. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "NASA Announces Plans for 3D Printer Capable of Serving Astronauts Pizza". Science Recorder. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Speaker Anjan Contractor". Engineers Without Borders Conference. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "The Audacious Plan to End Hunger with 3D Printed Food". Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Pizza Print Outs: NASA Funds Project to Make Space Meals with 3D Printer". NBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Indian-origin engineer creates 3D printer that makes pizzas fit for astronauts". India Today. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "3D Printed Food Revolution". Daily Dot. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Future of Food Technology Showecased at SXSW". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
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