US Marines 3D print concrete barracks in 40 hours

A team from the US Marine Corps’ Systems Command (MCSC) and Naval Construction Battalion has used the world’s largest concrete 3D printer to create a barracks hut.

Located at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Champaign, Illinois, the 47 sq m structure took 40 hours to print, while marines monitored progress and continually filled the printer with concrete.

Building a wood barracks hut would normally take 10 marines five days to build.

Matthew Friedell, MCSC project officer, said the experiment was the first of its kind. “People have printed buildings and large structures, but they haven’t done it onsite and all at once. This is the first onsite continuous concrete print.

“In active or simulated combat environments, we don’t want marines out there swinging hammers and holding plywood up,” he said.

The Marine Corps also plans to use concrete printers in humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions. In many locations, cement is easier to acquire than wood, and marines could print houses, schools and community buildings to replace those destroyed.

Images: MCSC

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  1. What a very misleading article.

    40 hours to print, but what was the set up time for the printer?
    How many marines were involved in the operation?
    How was the roof constructed?
    I am very surprised that it would take 10 capable people 5 days to create the equivalent structure as shown in the images. It would be 4 people at most.

    I am all for technology helping us with construction and better life standards, and totally understand the positive aspects in this situation to this but you seem to have skewed the facts here.

  2. The environmental focus is to get away from using concrete, not using more

  3. T.G. don’t you think that, when further developed, this 3D printer could be a simple modular setup from a single container and operated by 1 person? Concrete could be mixed inside the printer to make it almost self-supporting.

    Won’t concrete be environmentally healthy if the building could be re-purposed after its usage period? Please correct me if I am wrong.

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