The Marines 3D printed a concrete barracks


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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