U.S. Army 3-D Printer food
US Army Looking Into 3-D Printers For Food (CREDIT: Army photo by Sgt. Jesse L. Houk, Virginia National Guard)

The U.S. Army is exploring 3-D printing as a way to make food for its troops.

The Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) is currently developing the technology to print food, which would ideally cut costs and give soldiers more options in their diet, according to DefenseOne.com.

Like any 3-D printer, military or civilian, the food printers that the NSRDEC team is pursuing would connect to software that holds the digital blueprints for building food items in layers of particles stacked atop each other. The particles would come from chemical substrates that would be fed into the printer ahead of time, like the ink cartridges that injet printers use to print paper documents with text and photographs.

RELATED: US Navy Continues to Explore 3D Printing

“Printing of food is definitely a burgeoning science,” NSRDEC food technologist Lauren Oleksyk told Fabbaloo.com. “It’s currently being done with limited application. People are 3-D printing food. In the confectionery industry, they are printing candies and chocolates. Some companies are actually considering 3-D printing meat or meat alternatives based on plant products that contain the protein found in meat.”

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