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US Marine Corps 3D Prints Barracks

New Atlas reports on a recent announcement made by the US military.  Apparently, the US Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) “constructed a prototype concrete barracks in under two days with what it calls the world’s largest 3D printer.”

The MCSC’s Additive Manufacturing Team collaborated with I Marine Expeditionary Force in order to build this prototype barracks.  The barracks is located at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Champaign, Illinois and measures 500 sq. ft. (46 sq. m.).  Astoundingly, it was 3D printed in just 40 hours.  “According to MCSC, it normally takes 10 marines five days to construct a similar hut out of wood.”  Talk about a streamlined process!

This 3D printing process “involved cement being extruded through a nozzle in layers to build up the undulating walls…the Marine Corps is now carrying out more research to see how the technology can be employed in the field and if the construction process can be refined further.”

As MCSC Capt. Matthew Friedell elaborates: “in active or simulated combat environments, we don’t want Marines out there swinging hammers and holding plywood up.  Having a concrete printer capable of creating buildings on demand is a huge advantage for marines operating down range…we can bring forward better structures, houses, and forward operating bases with less manpower and fewer marines in harm’s way.”

Images and Quotes Courtesy of New Atlas and the US Marine Corps

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