BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — ICON and the Texas Military Department unveiled the largest 3D-printed barracks in North America at Camp Swift near Bastrop.
The 3,800 square foot building is set to house up to 72 soldiers. Soldiers will use the barracks as they train for missions in Texas or overseas. The soldiers who move in will be the first to ever live in a 3D-printed barracks.
Officials say the construction of the barracks is part of continued efforts to create “sustainable and resilient housing that is longer-lasting than traditional buildings.”
“You have a foundation. The printer shows up and it begins printing. Almost like a layer cake. So you print all the way up to the top of the wall then you put on the roof traditionally and you are able to do it with incredible speed,” ICON Founder & CEO Evan Loomis said.
“It is very hard to keep up the old Barracks,” said Major General Tracy Norris with the Texas National Guard. “You don’t get the heat right. You don’t get the air conditioning right. You have leaks in your roof. Very expensive.”
“The old way of doing barracks was temporary buildings that had poor energy efficiency and they weren’t cost effective,” said Loomis.
ICON has already built 3D printed rocket pads, they also built the first permitted 3D printed home in the United States in Austin. Their work could also help house the homeless and help provide more affordable housing.
“There is a huge problem that we have, not just in residential housing which we need millions more a year, but also on military bases,” said Loomis.
No soldiers have moved in yet, but the facility is ready to go whenever it is needed. Officials expect soldiers to move in during fall 2021.