India’s First 3D Post Office

The 3D Post Office in India was opened on August 18 at Cambridge Layout in east Bengaluru by Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Railways, Communications, and Electronics & Information Technology.

The 3D Post Office was finished in just 43 days, two days ahead of schedule, and was practically opened by the Union minister from the General Post Office building. It was constructed by Larsen & Toubro Limited using technology from IIT Madras under the supervision of Professor Manu Santhanam, Building Technology and Construction Management Division, Department of Civil Engineering.

3D Concrete Printing Technology

A total of 1,021 square feet are built up at the 3D Post Office. A fully automated 3D Post Office construction method called 3D concrete printing was used to build the post office. A robotic printer applies the concrete in layers in accordance with the authorized design, and special-grade concrete is utilized to ensure that the layers are bonded together and solidified swiftly.

An important turning point in the advancement of 3D printing technology in India is the opening of the 3D Post Office made of additive manufacturing materials. The building sector could undergo a revolution thanks to technology, becoming more productive and environmentally friendly.

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IIT Madras and L&T Collaboration

IIT Madras and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) created the 3D printing technology. IIT Madras offered technical assistance for the project, and L&T was in charge of building the 3D Post Office.

Several talks were held between IIT Madras and L&T prior to the post office’s construction. The principal advisor who oversaw the comparison of the proposed 3D-printed technology with the conventional building was Prof. Ravindra Gettu from IIT-M. He additionally assessed L&T’s comprehensive techno-commercial plan.

Professors Meher Prasad and Pradeep Pratapa, two other IIT-M members, oversaw the evaluation of structural and material design, construction process, timeline, and acceptance of design and construction concepts. According to Santhanam, Gettu also made six site visits to evaluate the quality on-site and offer advice on curing and other technical issues.

Santhanam further emphasized the lack of vertical joints and continuous printing of the whole perimeter of the project. The 3-D printing technology, which was actually imported from Denmark for the post office project, could also be adjusted to the size of the site and could incorporate curved surfaces without being restricted by plane walls. The technology also made it possible to build three-layer barriers with reinforced concrete in the middle and printed concrete on the outer layers. With less material waste than traditional construction techniques, the overall construction schedule was slashed to just 43 days.

The developers claim that the USP of 3D printing is to allow for individual customization of the structure, which can be crucial in housing-related buildings. For more effective construction, 3D printing also makes it possible to incorporate utilities and weatherproofing into the walls. This makes it possible to deliver high-quality homes everywhere, even in challenging terrain.

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Advantages of 3D Printing

Compared to conventional construction techniques, 3D printing has a number of benefits. These include:

Shorter construction time: Building construction can be completed more faster thanks to 3D printing. Contrary to conventional construction methods, the post office in Bengaluru was constructed in just 43 days.

Less material wastage: There is less material waste because 3D printing is a very accurate process. This may result in significant financial and material savings.

Individual customization: Structures can be made using 3D printing that is tailored to the individual requirements of the user. Traditional construction techniques cannot accomplish this.

Incorporation of weather-proofing and utilities: Weatherproofing and utilities can be incorporated into a building’s walls via 3D printing. This increases the building’s efficiency and sustainability.

Future of 3D Printing in Housing

A proof of concept for the use of 3D printing to create buildings is the post office in Bengaluru. In India, there are proposals to use 3D printing to build affordable homes. This would represent a significant advance in the fight against the nation’s housing scarcity.

Other uses of 3D printing in the construction sector, like the construction of bridges and tunnels, are also being investigated. The way we construct our infrastructure is expected to change significantly as technology advances.

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