Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has built a 3D printed modular concrete sentry structure for the Indian Army which can be set up at any site within 24 hours, according to officials. The indigenous innovation has been done under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Eastern Army Command and IIT Guwahati on developing cost-effective and sustainable defence infrastructure for the Army.
"This 3D printed sentry post is completely modular and can be transported to the construction site and assembled at the location,” TG Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, said. “The innovators have designed the sentry post with curvy wall shapes and fragmented the design into 36 modules of different sizes. These interlocking modules are printed using a custom-developed concrete formulation utilising local materials," he said.
The structure was handed over by Sitharam to Brigadier Deepak Gaur of Red Horns Division, Indian Army, on the IIT Guwahati campus on Thursday. "The developed technology is beneficial for the Army as modular construction is easy to move over the places whenever and wherever needed, as often required by the Indian Army in the forward areas," he added. The dimensions of the cube-like sentry post are 2.4 m (length), 2.4 m (width), and 2.4 m (height). The total printing time of all the modules was approximately 42 hours.
"This prototype shows off the capacity of 3D printing technology for rapid construction, which can be utilised in border areas where traditional construction is challenging due to inclement weather conditions, terrain and altitude limitations," said Brigadier Deepak Gaur. The research team is now investigating the thermal performance of the structure using different insulation materials and their first work has been published in the journal Materials Letters.