First 3D printer for construction in India made by IIT Madras engineers, alumni

Partnering with Tvasta, IITM is working on 3D printing for automated & rapid housing construction.

Researchers and alumni at IIT Madras have developed the first 3D printer in India for use in building construction, according to an NDTV report.

In partnership with a private manufacturing company, the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Madras has set up the IIT Madras Printability Lab to develop the technology for mass production.

A 3D-printed building made using the newly developed technology. Image courtesy: IITM

A 3D-printed building made using the newly developed technology. Image courtesy: IIT Madras

“We have been working on developing 3D printing technology in construction since 2016 and have conducted international workshops and awareness sessions for this in Chennai,” Professor Koshy Varghese, lead author of the study, was quoted to have said in the report.

"In addition, the institute is exploring automated construction methods and novel formwork systems for rapid housing construction.”

Tvasta is an additives manufacturing start-up which intends to develop an automated construction process, beginning with a miniature single-storey house approximately 320 square feet in size in three days, the Times of India reported.

Towards this, a prototype was built at IIT Madras to test and accelerate R&D of the indigenously-developed technology.

The IITM Civil engineering students and alumni involved in developing the 3D printing technology. Image courtesy: IIT Madras

The IITM Civil engineering students and alumni involved in developing the 3D printing technology. Image courtesy: IIT Madras

Varghese said that IIT Madras is also collaborating with government agencies and industry players to disseminate knowledge, establish policies and processes and ultimately bring the technology to the field.

However, the primary focus of the technology once developed for mass market will be in the government’s “Housing for All” scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and for the building of toilets as part of the Swacch Bharat mission.

“3D printing of concrete adds a new dimension to construction, and can best meet complex demands of modern architecture with concrete,” Prof Manu Santhanam from IIT Madras’s Civil Engineering Department who has been working with Tvasta, said in the official release.

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