The United States Army has come up with mind-boggling and fantastic concrete 3D printers! These printers are able to print any structure in 3D and is certainly one of a kind.
The technology and brain behind the new concrete 3D printers is of U.S Army’s Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES) program. The program began when 3D printing technology in the army was just picking up. However, the military has everything at it’s disposal to print 3D structures.
The program manager of U.S Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center said that they wanted to build a 3D printing technology that would fit military purposes. There are different 3D printers that ACES has developed so far.
ACES Light 3D Printer
The ACES Light 3D printer has developed in cooperation with Caterpillar under research and development agreement. It packs into a 20-foot shipping container and takes less than 60 minutes to completely set up and calibrate.
The printer has a technologically advanced nozzle that helps to print precise 3d layers. “It’s like a desktop 3D printer where you have a continuous feed of material, but it’s concrete rather than a roll of plastic filament,” says project manager Kreiger.
ACES Light is special in many ways because it does not require any special army type concrete mixer. It works with local materials and not just specialty mortar. It is superb to build barracks, bunkers, bridges, and other army structures with ease.
Benefits Of ACES Printing Technology
Other benefits of ACES 3D printing technology include:
- Time Saving: It can complete a 3D printing sample in one day rather than five.
- Lower requirement of labor: Smaller crew is needed at the time ACES is at work. It also reduces the logistics overhead involved.
- Customization Ability: ACES allows 3D printing customized as per demand. It helps to print structures of certain thickness, design, layer, and size.
- Economical and cost-saving
“ACES will provide an automated 3D printer to construct gap crossings, obstacles, and force protection positions using locally available concrete and other materials at a pace that adversaries cannot match,” according to a budget document.
The ACES 3D printing technology is going to be used outside the military as well. The 3D building can be useful in construction and civil renovation projects.
ACES 3D Printing is soon going to be in the main-stream. A lot of demonstration of the technology is coming up such as the first ever 3D-printed vehicle bridge in the world.
What Do The Experts Say?
“Similar to what 3D printing does for manufacturing, you can create complex shapes very easily at little to no added cost.’ – Megan Kreiger, Program Manager
“Our priority was to develop a capability utilizing 3D printing technology for use in an expeditionary environment, specifically suited for military purposes.” Megan Kreiger, Program Manager (Courtesy: Forbes)
“It’s like a desktop 3D printer where you have a continuous feed of material, but it’s concrete rather than a roll of plastic filament.” – Megan Kreiger, Program Manager