Armed Forces engineers are exploring the culinary and nutritional possibilities of 3D printers

Known for its investment in developing cutting-edge tech, the US military is working to better prepare its wartime soldiers with the help of 3D printers. While many military scientists are striving to perfect 3D printed warheads and bio-printed human skin, a group of researchers is investigating another wartime use for the technology: printing food.

Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, is leading a Combat Feeding Directorate research team in the search for the field applications of 3D food printing. During a recent visit to MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, team member Mary Scerra compared notes with researchers on the feasibility of printing food and its possible economic impact: “[i]t could reduce costs because it could eventually be used to print food on demand,” Scerra tells Army Technology Magazine. “For example, you would like a sandwich, where I would like ravioli. You would print what you want and eliminate wasted food.”

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