US Army to use 3D printing for food and everything

US Army to use 3D printing for food and everything

3D printing will be used to optimize US army operations, from weaponry to medicine and even food, according to a special issue of Army Technology.

Though only a small fraction of the US military’s exorbitant budget is allocated to research and development, the department promises grow on-site technology capabilities whilst also cutting costs by 3D Printing.

The Army’s partnerships with private enterprise, as well as federally funded tech initiatives, have put the organization at the cutting edge of digital manufacturing.

Dale Ormond, Director of Research and Development, said: “Imagine the possibilities of three-dimensional printed textiles, metals, integrated electronics, biogenetic materials and even food. Army researchers are exploring the frontiers of an exciting technology.”

Here is how they are doing that: Six months ago, 3D Systems unveiled the world’s first 3D food-printer at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the military intends to capitalize on this development.

Food scientists at the US Army Natick Solider Research, Development and Engineering Centre are investigating the 3D applications of food processing and product development.
The technology will eventually allow not only for a more varied menu for soldiers, but will also be able to provide particular nutrients for those who require it.

Mary Scerra, a US Army food scientist based at MIT, said: “Say you were on a difficult mission and you expended different nutrients… a printer could print according to what your needs were at that time.”

 

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