INDIAN SCENARIO

Bihar to get World’s First 3D Printed Toilets

3D printed Toilets in Bihar Sample
3D Printed Toilets at NAMIC
Above: From Left to Right, Willy Ng, Co-founder, Hamilton Labs and Dr. Shyam Anand Jha, founder secretary Centre for Rural Information and Action (CRIA) at NAMIC, November 2017/Image Credit: Hamilton Labs

3D Printing in construction has been around for a while and many companies across the globe are emerging and making use of this technology to build various infrastructures. But India has not seen any significant progress of 3D printing in construction sector. But according to a recent development, an emerging Singapore based company Hamilton Labs, in collaboration with India’s Centre for Rural Information and Action (CRIA), will help build the World’s First 3D Printed Toilets in India.

Mr.Willy Ng cofounder of Hamilton Labs and Dr. Shyam Jha, founder secretary Centre for Rural Information and Action (CRIA) spoke at the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) in November last year and presented their plan of working together to help provide sanitation to the common people in India at the summit. This was the start of the partnership which now has resulted in building of the World’s First 3D Printed Toilets.

3D printed construction has some crucial advantages which makes this project more interesting. It uses the optimal amount of material. Due to optimal amount of material deposition at all places the structures have more strength and durability when compared to traditional structures. And unlike traditional practices, it requires minimal human intervention thereby reducing the costs drastically.

The Problem

According to Unicef, close to 525 million people defecate in the open in India” This results in grave health problems. The Indian Government under its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign in India is rallying all this resources to make India Open Defecation Free in 2019 (a target set by the current government), which is incidentally the 150th Death Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. According to government data, close to 60 million toilets are already built but the monumental task still needs a lot more effort to achieve the target of 100 million toilets.

The 3D Printed Solution

3D printed Toilets in Bihar Sample
Above: Visualisation of the 3D Printed Toilets to be constructed/Image Credit: Hamilton Labs

Since the government is looking for funds for achieving its goals, 3D printing fits the settings perfectly. With its advantages 3D printing can help utilise a fraction of the funds and build strong long lasting toilets. These toilets were designed by Indian designers considering the requirements of Indian users. The basic construction will have a toilet with three tanks. Two water tanks at the back and one immediately connected to the toilet. A solar panel will be installed at the top to serve the nominal electricity requirement of the toilet.

Hamilton Labs, which is an emerging company in the field of 3D printed construction aims to work for serious issues which affect everyday lives of common people. It finds the sanitation problem of India to be extremely important and for these reasons the company has volunteered to partner with India on this unusual but crucial issue.

Testing of HamilBot
Above: Testing of Hamilton Labs’ HamilBot Mark 1 3D Printer/Image Credit: Hamilton Labs

With a mission to improve lives across the world, Hamilton Labs, will provide a robot operated 3D printer capable of building cement structures to build “beautiful and comfortable toilets”. This project will be started from Madhubani district of Bihar. The toilets will be constructed from a cement based on recycled fly ash material. The project is expected to start upon the arrival of Hamilton Labs’ HamilBot Mark 1 3D printer.

These toilets will be the World’s First 3D Printed Toilets. The fact that they will be built in India, that too by a Singaporean company will surely boost the government’s efforts to rid the country of Open Defecation by 2019.

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