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Special Issue: Recent Advances and Future Trends in Pavement Engineering

The Viability and Simplicity of 3D-Printed Construction: A Military Case Study

Graduate School of Engineering Management, Air Force Institute of Technology, 2950 Hobson Way, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45431, USA
Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, United States Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center, 2902 Newmark Drive, Champaign, IL 61822, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 March 2020 / Revised: 1 April 2020 / Accepted: 4 April 2020 / Published: 6 April 2020
In November 2019, U.S. Marines, Air Force, and Army Corps of Engineers personnel demonstrated the viability and simplicity of three-dimensionally (3D)-printed construction in a controlled environment at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center—Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois. The tri-service exercise spanned three days and culminated in the construction of three 1 m × 1 m × 1 m (3 ft × 3 ft × 3 ft) concrete dragon’s teeth (square pyramid military fortifications used to defend against tanks and armored vehicles) and several custom-designed objects. The structural components were printed using a custom-built, gantry-style printer called ACES Lite 2 and a commercially available, proprietary mortar mix. This paper examines the viability of using 3D-printed construction in remote, isolated, and expeditionary environments by considering the benefits and challenges associated with the printing materials, structural design, process efficiency, labor demands, logistical considerations, environmental impact, and project cost. Based on the results of this exercise, 3D-printed construction was found to be faster, safer, less labor-intensive, and more structurally efficient than conventional construction methods: the dragon’s teeth were printed in an average of 57 min each and required only two laborers. However, the use of commercially procured, pre-mixed materials introduced additional cost, logistical burden, and adverse environmental impact as compared to traditional, on-site concrete mixing and production. Finally, this paper suggests future applications and areas of further research for 3D-printed construction. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D-printed construction; 3D printer; concrete; military 3D-printed construction; 3D printer; concrete; military
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jagoda, J.; Diggs-McGee, B.; Kreiger, M.; Schuldt, S. The Viability and Simplicity of 3D-Printed Construction: A Military Case Study. Infrastructures 2020, 5, 35.

AMA Style

Jagoda J, Diggs-McGee B, Kreiger M, Schuldt S. The Viability and Simplicity of 3D-Printed Construction: A Military Case Study. Infrastructures. 2020; 5(4):35.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jagoda, Jeneé, Brandy Diggs-McGee, Megan Kreiger, and Steven Schuldt. 2020. "The Viability and Simplicity of 3D-Printed Construction: A Military Case Study" Infrastructures 5, no. 4: 35.

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