In the past few years, 3D printing has really been taking off and we have advanced from printing robots and robot parts to just going all out and downright making entire buildings. Why? Because we can and also because it’s fast, and time is of the essence.
There’s few groups out there for whom time is more of the essence than the U.S Military, though, and they have tackled a problem they have been facing for a long time: building the barracks in areas the Marines are deployed.
Capt. Matthew Friedell, AM project officer in MCSC’s Operations and Programs/G-3 said that “In active or simulated combat environments, we don’t want Marines out there swinging hammers and holding plywood up. ” And it’s truly an issue – it takes a team comprised of 10 Marines around five days to construct barracks out of wood, that is if they are not under fire and they do have the bare minimum they need on hand. That is a lot of work and a lot of wasted time.
So the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) has reported that it has constructed the very first continuous 3D printed concrete barracks.
The structure measures 500 square feet, was built in just 40 hours and it took four people to operate the printer. And that’s only because two were needed to mix the concrete, something that the engineers will work around, eventually.
“This exercise had never been done before, people have printed buildings and large structures, but they haven’t done it onsite and all at once.” Said Friedell “This is the first-in-the-world, onsite continuous concrete print.”
For now, the engineers are still testing the system to make it as autonomous as they can, before the MCSC will take it with them wherever it will be needed.