Military rations, made to order in the field... via a 3D printer?
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
It's still early days, but 3D printing could have applications in the military, where mass customization is very important, said Mary Scerra, a food technologist at the Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Massachusetts.
"No assembly is needed, no food skills are needed, complexity doesn't cost more, and you could tailor products or meals to the nutritional needs of individual fighters via 3D printers used in the field in containerized kitchens... Rations in 2030 could be very different than they are today."
However, there are big barriers to overcome from cost, energy efficiency, field durability, and sanitation issues, to speed, she said (3D printers are way too slow right now to have real-world application in producing army rations).