The Department of Defense, working with the private sector, is building three barracks using 3D printing technology. The project, which is going to be the largest of its kind in the Americas, is scheduled to be finished in 10 months.
Each barracks will be approximately 5700 square feet, making them the largest 3-D printed structures anywhere outside of Spain.
"Constructing facilities using this cutting-edge technology saves labor costs, reduces planning time, and increases the speed of construction of future facilities," said Army Lt. Gen. Doug Gabram, commander of U.S. Army Installation Management Command.
"We are looking at other ways to use this innovative technique for rapid construction of other types of facilities beyond barracks." he added.
The announcement comes as the Department of Defense has released a new Unified Facilities Criteria which allows for additive concrete construction, something which previously had not been allowed. As it had been disallowed, the no 3D printing companies were able to bid on or build DOD projects. Now, the DOD has chosen ICON, a construction company from Austin, TX, to do the work.
ICON will be using a proprietary material called Lavacrete, which is a high-strength concrete with compressive strength of 2000 to 3500 pounds per square inch.
"We are proud to collaborate with the U.S. Army and continue our partnership with DIU to see diverse use cases for ICON's technology across the DOD and to deliver resilient, comfortable 3D-printed barracks for soldiers at Fort Bliss, [Texas]," said Brendan O'Donoghue, vice president of public sector at ICON.