L&T Construction has 3D printed a G+1 (Ground plus one) building with reinforcement for the first time in India. It is the construction wing of Larsen & Toubro. L&T is a technology, engineering & construction corporation with a valuation of $21 billion. According to the company, this feat will give a huge boost to the mass housing segment. This is because the government is pursuing the objective of creating 60 million houses aggressively as a part of the “Housing for All by 2022” programme. As per the company statement, apart from accelerating the speed of construction, 3D printing will also remarkably improve build quality.
The 3D printed building has a built-up area of 700 sq. feet and is situated at L&T Construction’s Kanchipuram plant. It has been built with a distinct, in-house developed concrete mix making use of indigenously available routine building materials. L&T printed the building with both vertical reinforcement bars and horizontal distributors using welded mesh. This gratifies provisions in the Indian Codes and optimise the cost of construction.
With the exception of the horizontal slab members, the whole building structure was 3D printed ‘Cast in Situ’ at the job site in an ‘open to sky’ environment within 106 printing hours, by means of a completely automated 3D printer. Talking about 3D printing, it is a procedure in which the material is printed under computer control to build a 3-dimensional product, characteristically layer by layer.
By means of special polymers, metal alloys etc, it is mostly used in manufacturing industries to print rapid prototypes, complex shapes and small batch production. In November 2019, in line with distinctive EWS building layout, the team had 3D printed 240 sq. feet, 1 BHK apartment to explore the feasibility of this innovative technology.