Icon can claim the largest 3D-printed project in North America: a 3,800-square-foot military barracks in Bastrop, Texas. The 3D-printing company applied its Vulcan printer and proprietary material to the project, which shows how the military might quickly build troop accommodations.
Construction 3D printing company ICON has unveiled its latest build, a 3,800-square-foot training barracks made in collaboration with the Texas Military Department (TMD). The building, which ICON reports as the largest 3D printed structure in North America, is designed to house 72 soldiers or airmen at TMD’s Camp Swift Training Center in Bastrop, Texas. The barracks will welcome their first inhabitants this fall.
The training barracks were 3D printed using ICON’s Vulcan construction technology and were designed by Logan Architecture, with structural engineering by Fort Structures. It is not the first time that ICON’s proprietary technology has been used for military purposes: a year ago, it participated in the production of a Vehicle Hide Structure at Camp Pendleton, initiated by a team of marines. The barracks does however mark the first collaboration between ICON, TMD and AFWERX, which came to fruition through an SBIR Strategic Fund Increase contract through AFVentures.
The barracks were printed using ICON’s next-generation Vulcan 3D printer and a proprietary construction material. Part of ICON’s mission is to produce housing and building structures in a more sustainable and efficient way. In this use case, 3D printed barracks have the potential to replace temporary barracks that have gone beyond their lifespan.
“Guardsmen from all over Texas come to Camp Swift to train and to mobilize for deployments,” said Col. Zebadiah Miller, Director of Facilities at the Texas Military Department. “The printed barracks will not only provide our soldiers a safe and comfortable place to stay while they train, but because they are printed in concrete, we anticipate them to last for decades.”
The agility of ICON’s additive manufacturing process is another big benefit for military applications. That is, the U.S. military can use the 3D printing technology to quickly and efficiently produce housing and structures for its soldiers, both at home and abroad. In fact, the 3D printing process is being evaluated for use in the production of forward-deployed locations.