Companies are turning to 3D printing technology to build houses

This took every five days to build.

Now, experts believe that 3D printing technology can help solve Indian housing shortages by bringing in half-completed homes and time taken from traditional construction.

“We are trying to build a house of 500 sq. Ft in less than a week,” said Vidyashankar C, founder and chief operating officer (COO) of Tvasta Manufacturing, who raised R3 crore at Habitat for Humanity, an international working organization. . in solving the housing problem.

He did not say how much the Chennai home cost.

The problem with the rise – and the shortage of Indian housing — is that there are only a few companies that build 3D printed houses.

But Vidyashankar believes that more 3D printed buildings will appear in the southern hemisphere. His beginnings focused only on the construction of large construction teams, and he currently builds a building of 5,000 to 6,000 sq. M. ft in Puducherry for commercial use.

The use of 3D printers in India has grown. It is not just about building parts for the automotive and aviation industry. During the months of the great epidemic, they were used to build ventilator valves and shields.

Also known as additional production, 3D printing is a process in which three-dimensional objects are made from digital representation by placing a layer behind a layer of printing material. Typically, materials used in 3D printing are made of plastic or metal. A special type of concrete is used for housing projects.

Among the traditional construction companies, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) have stepped in with a few 3D printed houses. It showed an example of a two-story house earlier this year in its Kanchipuram area near Chennai using a 3D format printer with a large format provided by the Danish company Cobod.

A 2020 report by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) said housing shortages in Indian cities grew by 54% to 29 million in 2018 from 18.78 million in 2012.

Worldwide, three billion people will need improved housing by 2030, where 96,000 new homes will have to be built every day, according to the World Economic Forum.

Swapnil Sansare, founder of Divide by Zero Technologies, a 3D printing company based in Mumbai, said the technology could be useful for building smaller buildings or facilities in less demanding environments.

Sansare, who had discussions with construction companies that wanted prototypes for 3D printers, said such companies could build homes much faster than traditional methods using additional production.

Vidyashankar said, “Traditional construction faces many challenges. Construction processes are outdated. 3D printing can make a big difference in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. It can unlock new designs and bring paradigm changes to the user experience. ”

Vidyashankar also explained that the cost of funding alone makes it profitable for 3D printing houses. It is probably more affordable due to the unique shape and design allowed for 3D printing compared to conventional methods.

“3D printed houses will cost 30% more than conventional houses,” he said.

Another factor that has helped Tvasta reduce costs is having complete control over the price chain. The startup has a production facility in Bengaluru and builds everything in the house, including appliances, printers, software and processes.

That being said, technology has its limitations, and building large houses or multistory apartment buildings for commercial use can be a challenge.

“Building a two-story building using 3D printing alone is not going to happen soon. Some of the companies outside India that claim to build high-rise buildings create a mix. They built a scaffold and set up a 3D printed house on top of that. That scarf is developed using traditional methods, ”explains Sanansare.

But that does not mean that small homes built with 3D printers are not durable or unsafe. According to Sanansare, these two-storey houses are durable and safe to live in. To ensure that its 3D printed houses are as strong as the traditional house, Vidyashankar said his company adhered to all existing traditional home systems.

“The IIT-Madras community engineering department has been very helpful in this regard. We are also working with the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) and the Indian government Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research-Structural Engineering Research Center to obtain all the necessary permits and certificates, “he added.

In the meantime, Tvasta will focus on construction projects in Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. However, it plans to build buildings in Coorg and Kashmir next year to show how the technology works in the most difficult areas. Vidyashankar hopes his company will complete the construction of 25,000-30,000 sq. Km. ft next year and 150,000-200,000 sq. km. ft the following year.

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