On Memorial Day, we remember the sacrifices the men and women of our Armed Forces have made in order to secure and defend our democracy. 3DPrint360 salutes and thanks all our military personnel and wants to shed light on a few projects the US military has is undertaking, utilizing 3d printing, to keep our military a step ahead in the 21st century.
The first is customized meals. Yes, 3d printing customized meals based on each soldiers nutritional needs. The research has been going on in Massachusetts for months and focuses on providing the vitamins and minerals military personnel need to perform at the highest level.
"It is revolutionary to bring 3-D printing into the food engineering arena," said Lauren Oleksyk of The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center . "To see in just a couple of years how quickly it is advancing, I think it is just going to keep getting bigger and bigger in terms of its application potential."
According to a press release from the Army, Oleksyk believes her team is the first to investigate how 3-D printing of food could be used to meet Soldiers' needs. The technology could be applied to the battlefield for meals on demand, or for food manufacturing, where food could be 3-D printed and perhaps processed further to become shelf stable. Then, these foods could be included in rations.
As for the Midshipmen, on-demand drone manufacturing is made possible at sea using 3d printing. Last year the Navy made public that 3d printers on board some of its ships were printing files for drones which were designed on-shore, allowing different types of drones to be manufactured on-demand for different mission types.
"The idea is that ships could set sail with kits of the core electronics parts, since they are common to most drones, but have the bodies designed according to specific requirements for each mission," said Alan Jaeger, a faculty research associate at the Naval Postgraduate School.