Image credit – US Marines

When we think of the construction of buildings, this is usually a process that is seen as taking a while, at least not as far as as makeshift buildings are concerned. However it appears that the US Marines have managed to figure out a way that will allow them to 3D print concrete barracks in as little time as 40 hours.

This is thanks to the work from the Additive Manufacturing Team at Marine Corps Systems Command who teamed up with Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force to deploy and operate the world’s largest concrete 3D printer. According to Capt. Matthew Friedell, AM project officer in MCSC’s Operations and Programs/G-3, “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. This is the first-in-the-world, onsite continuous concrete print.”

To give some context, it has been estimated that a barracks structure made out of wood would take 10 marines five days to complete. This already shows a clear advantage to the 3D printer, which uses concrete and is more durable, and also because it does not require rest compared to humans, it can work throughout the night to get the job done. Friedell adds, “In active or simulated combat environments, we don’t want Marines out there swinging hammers and holding plywood up. Having a concrete printer that can make buildings on demand is a huge advantage for Marines operating down range.”

These 3D printed structures can not only be used in combat, but can also help to aid natural disaster situations in which shelter and temporary accommodation can be built in a relatively short amount of time.

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