The Marines 3D printed a concrete barracks

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Letting robots do construction jobs on the battlefield frees Marines to fight.

Forging ahead with plans to have robots do “dull, dangerous and dirty” jobs, the U.S. Marine Corps used a 3D printer to create a barracks building out of concrete. The process, which took less than two days, created a hardened living space capable of resisting enemy fire, a real improvement over canvas and nylon tents.

The U.S. Marine Corps moves around a lot, deploying worldwide, often to dusty, remote locations for months at a time. As a consequence, they tend to build a lot of housing for themselves, and it takes a team of ten Marines five days to build a barracks from wood. Not only is construction dangerous, it also prevents those ten Marines from doing other things during those five days.

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