Date of Award

3-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management

Department

Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Steven J. Schuldt, PhD

Abstract

Conventional construction is believed by some to have reached its technological limit of performance, making it increasingly difficult for conventional construction methods to meet the U.S. military’s core standards of quality, cost, and timeliness in the expeditionary environment. While still in its infancy, 3D-printed construction has the potential to revolutionize the way the military performs construction in deployed environments. This research conducts a systematic review of the viability of 3D-printed construction to investigate whether or not it is now or could be a viable replacement for conventional construction methods, specifically in remote environments where conventional construction capability may be limited. This research then evaluates seven key viability factors – materials, structural design, process efficiency, logistics, labor, environmental impact, and cost – as they apply to two recent, military-run 3D-printed construction case studies, before drawing conclusions regarding the current viability of 3D-printed construction. Finally, this research suggests areas in which further research and development is needed in order to ensure the effectiveness of 3D-printed construction in the expeditionary environment.

AFIT Designator

AFIT-ENV-MS-20-M-217

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