ERDC engineers 3D print concrete bridge at Camp Pendleton


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ERDC engineers 3D print concrete bridge at Camp Pendleton


Megan Kreiger, a lead mechanical engineer, on the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), and her crew of engineers, have 3D printed a 32-ft-long strengthened concrete footbridge on the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

“My aim is to determine additive development as a viable technique and introduce the advantages of large-scale 3D printing to army and industrial development,” added Kreiger. 

“I need to push ahead and check the boundaries of the development trade by way of 3D printing.”

Untitled-18-e1547226414975 ERDC engineers 3D print concrete bridge at Camp Pendleton
Kreiger (seated, sixth from left) and her crew on the 3D printed strengthened concrete footbridge. Photograph through the ERDC.

Camp Pendleton’s 3D printed concrete bridge

In 2016, Captain Matt Friedell, the Additive Manufacturing Lead for the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), met Kreiger and recognised her curiosity within the area of construction-scale 3D printing.

“She spoke in grand phrases of the place the know-how will take humanity sooner or later [and] took that imaginative and prescient and used it because the kindling to ignite others’ imaginations,” added Captain Friedell.

The 2 collaborated throughout the MCSC’s crew to 3D print a concrete barrack in 40 hours. The 500-square-foot barrack was constructed on the ERDC in Champaign, Illinois. The barrack was strengthened with metal and analysed for structural efficiency by structure and concrete planning agency SOM.

The crew has emphasised benefits of 3D printed concrete constructions, i.e., the restricted labour wanted, in addition to the portability of the equipment used.

Captain Friedell, beforehand said, “In energetic or simulated fight environments, we don’t need Marines on the market swinging hammers and holding plywood up.”

“Having a concrete printer that may make buildings on demand is a big benefit for Marines working down vary.”

Kreiger additionally added, “It could be phenomenal if we might make a bridge that would help a tank.”

Untitled-18-e1547226414975 ERDC engineers 3D print concrete bridge at Camp Pendleton
3D printed barrack. Photograph through Marine Corps.

The U.S. Military’s first 3D printed barracks

In 2017, the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) in Champaign, Illinois, revealed the profitable development of its first 3D printed barracks hut. The 512 square-feet semi-permanent construction was made utilizing a 3D printer comprised of a sliding steel gantry.

Different cement printing strategies have been demonstrated utilizing robotic arms from the Nanyang Technological University and ETH Zurich. Based on Dr. Michael Case, CERL’s Automated Building of Expeditionary Buildings (ACES) program supervisor, the ACES know-how “is an actual recreation changer” within the area.

“In contrast to earlier efforts, ACES can use as much as three/eight inch mixture within the concrete that’s used. As well as, the ACES mission paid explicit consideration to strategies of reinforcing printed concrete, each horizontally and vertically.”

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Featured picture reveals Kreiger (seated, sixth from left) and her crew on the 3D printed strengthened concrete footbridge. Photograph through the ERDC.

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