• 3d printing technology in architecture vagabonding in India

    Since the first application of 3d printing technology in the 90s’, the technology advanced immensely from medical to construction industry. Fortunately, from the past few years, many construction companies in India have been experimenting with 3d printing technology progressively.

    3d printing is a technology to create three-dimensional objects from a digital file. A machine that can literally make an entire dwelling in just days. However, the technology took its time to break through in India, where initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ came into support. As a result, 3d printing technology in India is now booming architecturally as the Government has recognized the potential and has begun commissioning projects. In addition, through the initiatives of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’, the industry has steadily grown with support for research and development activities.

    In 2022, a start-up construction company MicoB, based in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, delivered a 3D concrete-printed runway controller hut to the Military Engineer Services for the Airbase in Pune, in just 30 days. It is the first hybrid structure in India with a mix-use of 3d print concrete and pre-fabricated steel structure.

    It was a significant breakthrough regarding the potential to develop varied structures and challenging infrastructures in remote regions of India. Since the technology optimizes efficient timing and precise construction, it will be immensely beneficial in developing all new architecture. Following the success of the controller hut, MicoB also designed a living shelter for Indian Army.

    A year later, in 2023, Tvasta, an IIT Madras startup began constructing India’s first house via 3d printing. The owner of the company described Tvasta as a Sanskrit word, meaning the process of creation. And, the house became a vital prototype, built on the IIT Madras campus. Proving profoundly what 3d printing has in store for the future.

    The house comprises a bedroom, hall, and kitchen. And the entire process of the building happened in stages from planning to prototyping to execution. Tvasta also designed the 180sq.ft. site office in Kolkata as a trial and test experiment for this new technology. Interestingly, the office took a record time of 10 days to get designed and built.

    For the house, Tvasta utilizes durable materials for robustness and sustainability and ensures a lower carbon footprint. Resulting in projects that are inspirational innovations for the infrastructure industry of the Country. Consequently, Tvasta continues to fulfill the goal of Modular Construction for quicker infrastructures and assembled buildings.

    Besides these projects, the Military Engineering Services, with the help of Tvasta created two housing units for jawans using 3d printing technology. And the unit is architecturally one-of-its-kind, built across an area of 700 square feet in a record time of three weeks. It is without a doubt that 3d printing technology is widening the horizons in regards to new architecture that can be efficient yet affordable.

    As a result, both start-ups are set to thrive in the Indian market through their ambitious future plans for the industry. Besides the local companies, international companies are also taking an interest in collaborating and expediting the 3d printing development in India. And, we can only wait to witness the advancement such start-ups bring to the country.  

    Text by: Aditi Shah(Co – Editor)

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