It seems the future has arrived for the construction industry, as India’s first 3D printed home is now ready.
What is a 3D printed home?
Houses that are designed and built using construction technologies that use the 3D printing method are known as 3D printed homes. 3D printed homes are faster to build and are superior to the traditionally constructed structures in many ways.
India’s first 3D printed house
Created by Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, a start-up founded by the alumni of IIT-Madras, this 3D-printed house overcomes the pitfalls of conventional construction. The house was inaugurated by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, via videoconferencing. “With construction of conventional housing being very complex… and with your concept of building a house in five days, I don’t think it will be a massive challenge for building 100 million houses by 2022,” she said. Here is everything you need to know about this one-of-its-kind, India’s first digitally printed home.
3D printed house: Design and construction process
The process of building a 3D-printed home is not just different but a lot quicker than conventional construction. It is built with focus on reduced build-time, zero-waste construction and optimised production. To start with, the structure was printed using a special concrete mix through which large-scale 3D structures were made. The concrete mix is a base of ordinary cement which has a lower water-cement ratio. While concrete is the primary material for typical construction projects as well, the energy consumed to mix and transport it is way more than in 3D printing.
In one of its company blogs, Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions has mentioned that they have developed their own material mix, which is an extrudable concrete consisting of cement, sand, geopolymers and fibres. The company prepared the final mix by mixing the raw materials in a large hopper. “While 3D printing, the structure was specifically designed hollow, to allow provisions for wiring and plumbing without damaging the wall,” Tvasta said.
Such 3D-printed houses are not just economical but also environment-friendly, as the use of local materials eliminates the need to transport concrete over long distances. “This technology can enable deep personalisation of construction for the ultimate target segment – who is the individual. 3D printing can ensure that affordable, good quality housing is available to all Indians,” said Adithya VS, co-founder, Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions.
About India’s first 3D-printed house in Chennai
Tvasta’s first structure is a single-storey house, a 600-sq ft unit, created in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter at the IIT-Madras campus. The house was built in just five days. Tvasta’s official blog states, “A standard 3D printer can produce a 2,000-sq ft home in less than a week, which is 1/8th of the total time spent today in erecting a functioning house. When it comes to waste materials, this technology creates only 1/3rd of the waste generated using conventional building methods.”
Can 3D-printed homes fix the housing crisis?
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030, three billion people will need improved housing. That means building 96,000 new homes every day. 3D printing technology can create high-quality homes in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional construction. Tvasta’s 3D home was built in just five days. Hence, 3D construction technology can produce houses cheaper and faster than traditional building techniques. The method has already provided homes for people around the world. If adopted at a large scale, this approach could put roofs over millions of people’s heads.
How much do 3D printed houses cost?
A 3D printed house costs 20% of the cost of regular concrete homes.
How long will a 3D printed house last?
The average age of any 3D printed house is 50-60 years.