Team RedWorks recently returned from the Phoenix Spark Collider event at Travis Air Force Base, having had the opportunity to learn about some of the unique challenges facing the our armed forces directly from the men and women of Air Mobility Command. This is not our team’s first encounter with members of the military looking to startups to help innovate. Over the last year we’ve been lucky enough to meet members of Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the Air Force Civil Engineering Center (AFCEC), and the United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Seabees. There is a clear need for startups to work more closely with the military to address the challenges facing service members, and at RedWorks we want to do everything we can to help address one challenge in particular: building in remote areas.
RedWorks’ has always been committed to making construction in the most remote environments easier and more affordable by creating technology to create building materials on-demand with what raw materials are available on-site. This is especially important for America’s men and women in uniform, who often must operate in some of the most remote environments on Earth. As such, we see the In-Situ Additive Construction (ISAC) 3D printers we’re developing as a promising solution for military construction in austere and remote areas. ISAC will be able to use local sources of sand, dust, and dirt as feedstock to create building materials totally on-site, requiring no water to bind material together. ISAC allow military engineers to adapt building materials to meet the needs of the project completely in the field with virtually no waste, and lower overhead costs than traditional construction. Moreover, making building materials on-site not only reduces the cost of moving materials to the site, but reduces project delays by eliminating shipping times, and in so doing limits the number service members that would otherwise be exposed to danger while moving materials to a potentially hostile or remote area.
ISAC would make it possible for military engineers to build or repair air fields without having to ship a single bag of concrete or gallon of water, create forward defenses and battlefield infrastructure entirely on-site, and give naval engineers the power to create floating piers from the sand of the beachhead itself. Furthermore, ISAC would allow the military to not only support combat missions, but the other great challenge the US military takes on in humanitarian projects. America’s armed forces support a wide range of humanitarian activities around the world, from disaster relief to goodwill missions in countries hosting US forces, and the more efficiently they can complete a project the more people they can help. At RedWorks our goal is for ISAC to build for whatever the challenge our service-members face, and make building in remote areas safer, faster, and less costly.