Faculty members and alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed India’s first 3D printing construction technology and successfully built the first 3D printed structure.

Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, an additive manufacturing start-up, and the Civil Engineering Department of IIT-Madras have established a 3D printing laboratory – the IIT Madras Printability Lab – to take this indigenously developed technology to the market.

Miniature model

The start-up aspires to completely automate construction, including placement of reinforcements and finishing, by re-envisioning the construction process. It aims to develop a platform and a specific process to complete a single-storey house of 320 sq ft within three days.

A prototype structure that has been printed in IIT-Madras will serve as a base foundational model for accelerating R&D and making affordable housing and sanitation a reality in the country, a press release from the institute said.

Material saving

3D Printing enables printing of shapes and structures that were not possible using conventional technologies. This can result in the printing of partially hollow structures or structures of shapes that can result in considerable material saving.

This technology can also enable development of natural materials or geopolymers which can make the construction process sustainable and green, the release said.