Home » US military begins record-breaking 3D-printing project

US military begins record-breaking 3D-printing project

by Sion Geschwindt
US military begins record-breaking 3D-printing project

The USA’s Department of Defense (DOD) is building three training barracks which are set to be the largest 3D-printed structures in the Americas.

The project, which is being spearheaded by the Defense Innovation Unit, is expected to be completed within 10 months.

Army Lt Gen Doug Gabram, commander of US Army Installation Management Command, said: “Constructing facilities using this cutting-edge technology saves labour costs, reduces planning time, and increases the speed of construction of future facilities.

“We are looking at other ways to use this innovative technique for rapid construction of other types of facilities beyond barracks.”

The barracks will be the first 3D-printed structures that comply with the DOD’s newly released Unified Facilities Criteria for additive concrete construction.

Icon, a construction technology company based in Austin, Texas, was selected to do the work. The company has previously done 3D construction work with DIU for the Marine Corps.

Last year, the Texas Military Department partnered with Icon to design and 3D print a training barracks at the Camp Swift Training Center in Bastrop, Texas. The material used in the barracks construction is Icon’s proprietary Lavacrete, which is a type of high-strength concrete.

Brendan O’Donoghue, vice president of public sector at Icon, said: “We are proud to collaborate with the US Army and continue our partnership with DIU to see diverse use cases for Icon’s technology across the DOD and to deliver resilient, comfortable 3D-printed barracks for soldiers at Fort Bliss.”

Image: Render of the 3D-printed barracks at Fort Bliss (Credit: Logan Architecture)

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