Armed Forces News

Marine and Army engineers combined to build and test a functional concrete bridge, using additive manufacturing (3D printing). The effort was part of a joint training exercise in April, held in Champagne, Ill. The Marine Corps Systems Command’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell performed the actual printing job in December at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in conjunction with the Army Engineer Research and Development Center. The structure can support 3,000 pounds per foot, or a 15,000-pound load point – enough to support a fully loaded convoy of Marines. Once it was assembled and transported to the test site, engineers first conducted a static-load test to see if its beams would be able to support the non-moving weight. The next test involved having the bridge bear loads that were placed upon it in cycles, to see how the structure would react to changing weights. The structure proved itself in both tests.