Icon is working with the Defense Department to 3D print three transient training barracks in Fort Bliss, Texas, that will be the biggest 3D-printed structures in the Americas when finished. The collaboration is made possible by new Unified Facilities Criteria, which previously did not include specifications for 3D-printed concrete wall systems and effectively deterred companies such as Icon from bidding on DOD construction work.



The Defense Department, in partnership with the private sector, is building three transient training barracks using advanced 3D printing technology. The project, which is being spearheaded by the Defense Innovation Unit, is expected to be completed within 10 months.

At more than 5,700 square feet each, these barracks will each be the largest 3D-printed structures in the Americas.”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 barracks will be the first 3D-printed structures that comply with the DOD’s newly released Unified Facilities Criteria for additive concrete construction, which provides guidance for DOD construction.

Previously, the Unified Facilities Criteria did not include specifications for 3D-printed concrete wall systems, preventing any companies that used this novel approach to construction from bidding on DOD construction projects and preventing DOD from leveraging the efficiencies gained from this technique.

This change to UFC by DOD’s Structural Discipline Working Group further enhances the technology transition led by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center and DIU to leverage commercial innovation and incorporate novel, timesaving manufacturing methods within the DOD.

ICON, a construction technology company based in Austin, Texas, was selected to do the work. The company had previously done 3D construction work with DIU for the Marine Corps.