IIT- Madras: India’s first 3D printing construction technology for PMAY

By Accommodation Times Bureau


Indian Institute of Technology Madras Faculty and Alumni have developed the country’s first 3D Printing Construction Technology and have successfully built India’s first 3D Printed Structure. Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, an emerging additive manufacturing startup, and Civil Engineering Department, IIT Madras, have established a one-of-a-kind 3D printing laboratory – the IIT Madras Printability Lab – to take this indigenously-developed technology to the mass market.

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 a miniature single storey house of 320-sq.ft within three days. A prototype structure that has been printed in IIT Madras will serve a base foundational model for accelerating R&D and testing in Tvasta’s road to making affordable sanitation and Affordable housing a reality in the country.

Prof. Koshy Varghese, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras said, “Building Technology and Construction Management Division at IIT Madras is a unique Research Group in the country which has the expertise in materials as well as construction technologies which is relevant to this effort.”

he added, “We have been working on developing 3D Printing technology in the area of Construction from 2016 and have conducted International Workshops and awareness sessions for this in Chennai. In addition, the institute is exploring automated construction methods and novel formwork systems for rapid housing construction.”

He also noted that IIT Madras worked on other housing technologies such as GFRG and Cold-Form Steel, which are now at a mature stage and can enable rapid construction to cater to India’s massive housing demands. IIT Madras is collaborating with several government agencies and industry to disseminate knowledge and establish standards, policies and processes to bring these technologies to the field.

Prof Manu Santhanam, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, who has been working with the Tvasta team, said, “3D printing of concrete gives a new dimension to construction. This technology can best meet the complex demands of modern architecture with concrete. The use of a combination of binders and optimally proportioned and sized aggregates, along with suitable chemical additives, the concrete mixture is fine-tuned to achieve the rheological characteristics that make it possible for extrusion of the material and shape retention after placement.”

Highlighting the benefits of this technology to the country, Kranthi ValluruAssistant Secretary, MoHUA, said, “Such technologies help in expediting construction with the optimal use of resources. They help in bringing a paradigm shift in the construction sector which is very much the need of the hour.”

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

Talking about their plans, Adithya VS, Co-founder of Tvasta said, “The impact of 3D printing in construction will be primarily focussed towards the ‘Housing for All’ scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Construction of Toilets for the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.”


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