3D printing started out largely as a hobby for creative tech users, but it has morphed into a new strategy for construction that allows for fast, affordable, and versatile building. One way it can be beneficial is that it allows structures to be built quickly without sacrificing structural integrity. As an example of this efficiency, the world’s first 3D printed school is slated to be built this year in Madagascar.
The school is a collaboration between Thinking Huts, architecture firm Studio Mortazavi, and Hyperion Robotics. Once printed, the school will be a 1,700 square foot, single-story building which uses solar panels for energy, natural ventilation, and a rainwater collection system in its green design. The building will be able to accommodate 30 students and will be constructed using a pod system so further buildings can be built and easily attached to the original if the school needs to expand.
The actual building process involves using locally-sourced cement to print the structure layer by layer before adding a corrugated metal roof, windows, doors, and furniture. The structure will take just 22 days to print, has wall space for insulation, and is 27 times stronger than sun-dried clay brick.
This will be the pilot program, but Thinking Huts hopes to use the model to build other schools throughout the country and even internationally.
Image source: Studio Mortazavi and Thinking Huts