US Army looking into 3D printing to feed its troops

5 Aug 2014

Shipping food rations to soldiers abroad may soon be a thing of the past.

The US Army is once again looking into the areas of 3D printing for the future of its soldiers after it confirmed it is examining using 3D printing to produce food for soldiers abroad.

This is not the first time the US military has looked at the technology, particularly with regard to the production of its equipment and military vehicles to reduce costs and make production a much more mobile process.

Now however, Army Technology Magazine has spoken about how the technology could be used to eliminate food waste by creating meals for catered to the specific needs of individual troops to suit tastes or dietary requirements.

The US Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) has said that they are increasingly investing time towards developing the technology, but has said that regardless of their research, they will still look at any viable options. “The technologies may or may not originate at NSRDEC, but we will advance them as needed to make them suitable for military field feeding needs. We will do what we can to make them suitable for both military and commercial applications,” said the centre’s food technologist, Lauren Oleksyk.

Despite the current levels of printed food technology involve a basic paste-like food, the technology could be developed so that soldiers could print food on-the-go if they are lacking in some particular nutrient, for example.

US Army rations image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic