The alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) have built India’s first 3D printed house inside the campus, which was inaugurated virtually by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.
Thank you @nsitharaman for inaugurating our 3D Printed House. Tvasta salutes the showcase of solidarity by the Indian Government towards home-grown technologies and young ventures in India!@narendramodi @PMOIndia @MoHUA_India pic.twitter.com/JEjGs0sMLN
— Tvasta (@Tvasta_3DP) April 27, 2021
The institute said in a statement that the single-storey home has a built-in area of 600 sq. ft. and a functional space comprising a single bedroom, hall, and kitchen.
The entire ensemble is designed, developed, and realised by Tvasta’s indigenous ‘Concrete 3D Printing’ Technology, which was developed by the faculty members and alumni of the IIT-Madras back in 2018.
The concrete 3D printing technology is a ‘Ready-to-Implement Methodology’ with no lead time on manufacturing, which significantly reduces the construction time.
“India definitely needs such solutions which do not require much time,” Finance Minister Sitharaman said, while addressing the inaugural event. “This technology enables building a 3D printed house in five days.”
— NSitharamanOffice (@nsitharamanoffc) April 27, 2021
“With the Prime Minister’s goal of ‘Housing for All by 2022,’ we have a huge challenge before us. A huge challenge of meeting that deadline and making sure that people who need houses get it at an affordable price. The Government incentives for that are available,” she added.
Tvasta began its work towards construction of ‘India’s FIRST 3D Printed House’ In February 2020, with planning and procurement activities, but was briefly halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and could only complete the 3D structure later in August, the company said in a blog post.
“The pilot project is not only a technology demonstrator but also illustrates key advantages such as customizability, sustainability, time- and cost-related efficacies when compared to the traditional construction methods,” it added.
The concrete mix is based on ordinary portland cement, but with a lower water–cement ratio. Tvasta reinforces it with either amorphous metal fibers or plastic fibers and can print with aggregates up to 8 mm, which only a few research groups across the world have achieved. The resulting material provides strength equal to that of an M-35 concrete.
“The structure consists of 12-mm rebar on all four corners for anchoring and in hollow sections of the wall for tensile strength. Textile reinforcements were placed at the vertical joints. While 3D printing it, the structure was specifically designed hollow to allow provisions for wiring and plumbing without damaging the wall,” Tvasta said in another blog entry.
Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, IIT-Madras Director, said that this technology is the first to be beneficiary-led in the construction industry. “The machine for constructing this house can be rented, like borewells rented by farmers. It provides for large-scale, high quality and also, price assurance for the customers,” he added.
The startup, which was co-founded by three 2016-batch IIT-M mechanical engineering graduates, looks to use its patented 3D Printing Technology to automate 80 per cent of the construction processes in the future to make the entire construction process “cheaper, better and faster”.