Army to construct record-breaking 3D-printed barracks

By Evan Ochsner / April 6, 2022 at 4:10 PM

The largest 3D-printed structure in the Western Hemisphere is under construction at Ft. Bliss, TX, according to a Defense Department announcement released Tuesday.

DOD's Defense Innovation Unit, Army Installation Management Command, and Army Engineer Research and Development Center are partnering to build three 3D-printed barracks at the post, according to the announcement.

The project will use a 3D printing construction system provided by ICON, a private company that has 3D printed homes and a training barracks.

Each of the 5,700 square-foot buildings would be the first 3D-printed structures to comply with DOD’s newly released Unified Facilities Criteria, the announcement states.

“Constructing facilities using this cutting-edge technology saves labor costs, reduces planning time and increases the speed of construction of future facilities,” Lt. Gen. Doug Gabram, commanding general of the Army’s Installation Management Command, said in the announcement. “We are looking at other ways to use this innovative technique for rapid construction of other types of facilities beyond barracks.”

DIU previously partnered with the Marine Corps to prototype ICON’s construction processes, using the technology to produce a structure to hide a vehicle.