Increasingly, 3D printing is becoming a trend around the world. Now, there is also a school manufactured using this method.
Despite the high cost of this technology, the CDC Group, based in the United Kingdom, wants to demystify the idea that this technique is only used in large projects.
Thus, the company printed a school in 3D in just 18 hours. The educational establishment, which is based in Malawi, already has the presence of several students.
The school’s facilities, built at record speed, have now been transferred to the local community in the Yambe area of Salima district.
“I am impressed with the new building – its durability and design provide the space and facilities that students did not have before,” said Juliana Kuphanga Chikandila, Malawi’s Minister of Education, Youth and Sport.
The responsible emphasizes that this establishment “is remarkably different of schools being built in the Yambe area and in the Salima district, and should attract more students, making them return to education”.
THE 14 Trees, one joint venture belonging to the CDC Group that works to meet the needs of infrastructure in Africa, emphasizes that this is the first school printed in 3D in the world.
“Now that we’ve introduced the concept in Malawi, we hope to expand this technology across the region,” he said. Miljan Gutovic, regional director of the company. The venture has similar projects under development in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
In addition to technological advances, the construction of this school also has another very important focus: the social.
UNICEF estimates that Malawi alone lacks 36,000 classrooms, leaving thousands of students without access to a decent education.
To address this problem, says the Interesting Engineering, it would take 70 years of using conventional construction methods.
It is in this sense that the 14 Trees believes that 3D printing technology can help solve the problem in just 10 years.
In a partnership between the CDC Group and Lafarge Holcim, a French-Swiss construction materials multinational, the companies want to build affordable homes, schools and social infrastructure in Africa in order to fill the various needs.
For the printing process, the enterprise must use Lafarge Holcim ink, which in addition to reduce construction time, requires less materials compared to other options. On the other hand, the method is characterized by being environmentally friendly.
However, the process is not fully automated. The team uses a large printer to build the structure’s walls, but skilled workers are needed to handle the process of installing doors, windows, roofs and other details.
This turns out to be an advantage in economic terms, as this way the construction company will be able to create more jobs and qualify the workforce in the country.