The Army has inaugurated its first 3D-printed dwelling unit for soldiers at Ahmedabad Cantonment, the defence ministry said on Thursday.
3D printing technology uses complex software and a robotic unit that helps in creating a structure through multiple stages from a digital model.
“The Indian Army inaugurated its first 3D-printed house dwelling unit (with ground-plus one configuration) for soldiers at Ahmedabad Cantonment on December 28,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The dwelling unit has been constructed by the Military Engineering Services (MES) in collaboration with MiCoB Pvt Ltd incorporating the latest 3D rapid construction technology,” it said.
Construction work of the dwelling unit measuring 71 sqm with garage space was completed in just 12 weeks by utilising the 3D-printed foundation, walls and slabs, officials said.
“The disaster-resilient structures comply with zone-3 earthquake specifications and green building norms. The 3-D printed houses are symbolic of the modern-day rapid construction efforts to cater for growing accommodation requirements of the armed forces personnel,” the ministry said.
“This structure also stands testament to the commitment of the Indian Army in fostering the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’,” it said.
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The technique utilises a concrete 3D printer that accepts a computerised three-dimensional design and fabricates a 3D structure in a layer-by-layer manner by extruding a specialised type of concrete specifically designed for the purpose.
Ahmedabad-based Golden Katar Division of the Army has been instrumental in pursuing the project with manifold applications even in operations, the statement said.
“Indian Army units have already dovetailed 3D printing technology in the construction of pre-casted permanent defences and overhead protection meant for operations. These structures are currently being validated over a period of one year and can be seen being incorporated in all terrains, the recent being in the UT of Ladakh,” it said.
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Sources in November had said that the Indian Army has envisioned the construction of “permanent defences” along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh using cutting-edge 3D printing technology, a move that will save time and improve its defence preparedness.