Alumni and faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) have reportedly come up with India’s first 3D printing construction technology and successfully developed the first 3D printed structure. A 3D printing laboratory has been established by Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, an additive manufacturing start-up, and the Civil Engineering Department of IIT-M – the IIT Madras Printability Lab – to introduce this indigenously made innovation to the market.
According to reports, Tvasta has plans to build the first 3D printed house in India within one year. The start-up wants to revolutionise the methods of construction by completely automating them, including placement of reinforcement and finishing. There are plans to innovate a platform and a specific process to build a single-storey house of 320 sq ft in three days. For accelerated construction, the institute is reportedly looking towards automated construction and novel formwork systems.
As reported, the concrete mixture is fine tuned to achieve the rheological characteristics by combining binders and optimally proportioned and sized aggregates, along with suitable chemical additives. This allows for extrusion of the material and shape retention after placement.
A prototype structure has been printed in IIT-Madras, which will be a base foundational model to speed up R&D, and make sanitation and affordable housing more feasible. As compared to traditional technologies, 3D Printing enables printing of shapes and structures.
This can reportedly be utilised to print partially hollow structures or structures of shapes, contributing to material saving. In order to make the construction process sustainable and eco-friendly, the technology can also be used to develop natural materials or geopolymers.