India’s First 3D Printed Post Office Inaugurated in Bengaluru

4 Mins read
  • The construction of which was carried out by Larsen & Toubro Limited using COBOD BOD2 3D printer and with technological support from IIT Madras.
India’s first 3D Printed Post Office inaugurated in Bengaluru
India’s first 3D Printed Post Office inaugurated in Bengaluru/Source: Twitter

Shri. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and IT on Friday, virtually inaugurated India’s first 3D printed post office located in Bengaluru’s Cambridge Layout. The construction was completed in just 43 days, two days ahead of its deadline.

Its construction was carried out by Larsen & Toubro Limited with technological support from IIT Madras under the guidance of Professor Manu Santhanam, Building Technology and Construction Management Division, Department of Civil Engineering.

Manufactur3D had reported on the entire story right from the invitation of bids last year in August as well as upon the commencement of the work on the post office in March-April this year.

“Bengaluru always presents a new picture of India. The new picture that you saw today in terms of this 3D-printed post office building, that’s the spirit of India today. That’s the spirit with which our country is progressing today.”

– Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and IT, Govt. of India

India’s First 3D Printed Post Office

The post office covers a built-up area of 1,021 sq. ft. 3D concrete printing is a fully automatic construction technology wherein a robotic printer deposits the concrete layer by layer as per the approved design, and special grade concrete – which hardens quickly – is used to ensure bonding between the layers for the purpose of printing the structure. L&T used COBOD International’s BOD2 construction 3D printer to build the post office.

The construction was also carried out at a cost of Rs 23 lakh, around 30-40 per cent less compared to the cost involved in conventional methods.

George Abraham, head of operations (south and east), L&T, explained, “It is because of the robotic intervention that involves pre-embedded designs, that we were able to complete the entire construction activity in a period of 43 days as compared to about 6-8 months taken by conventional method.”

“The project primarily involves machines and robots which are indigenous, but needs to be scaled up in the coming days. The special concrete material used for this project provides pumpability, extrudability, buildability and is powered with mechanical properties.”

– Prof. Santhanam, Building Technology and Construction Management Division, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras

When asked about the future plans, Rajendra Kumar, Chief Postmaster General of Karnataka Circle, stated that the larger goal is to find the 3D printing technology’s utility in housing.

Kumar said, “Primarily, we are looking at building post offices with low-cost construction options using 3D printing technology. We feel this is the technology for the future which may trigger interest in low-cost housing, which is our secondary interest. There are plans to construct post offices across 400 vacant sites across the state, where postal services are not accessible. But it will only take off after submitting a detailed report on the first 3D printed post office.”

The Prime Minister of India, Hon. Shri Narendra Modi also tweeted about the inauguration congratulating the entire team that worked on the project and lauded the nation’s innovation and progress.

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IIT Madras: At the forefront of Construction 3D Printing in India

Exterior of the 3D printed post office
Exterior of the 3D printed post office/Source: Twitter

Since the very beginning, IIT Madras has been at the forefront of the construction 3D printing revolution in India. It has worked on this technology and has even spawned a Startup in the sector like Tvasta.

In the run up to the construction of the post office, IIT Madras and L&T conducted several crucial meetings to discuss the various aspects of the project. Prof Ravindra Gettu from IIT Madras was involved as a primary advisor who guided the comparability of the proposed 3D-printed technology with conventional construction. He also assessed the detailed techno-commercial proposal by L&T.

Other participants from IIT-M included professors Meher Prasad and Pradeep Pratapa who overlooked the assessment of material and structural design, construction methodology and schedule and approval of design and construction concepts. Gettu also conducted six site visits for assessing on site quality and providing guidance on curing and other technical matters, explained Santhanam.

Santhanam also highlighted that the project has no vertical joints and it involved continuous printing of the full perimeter. The 3D printing technology which was actually imported from Denmark for the post office project was also flexible to incorporate curved surfaces and adapt to site dimensions, showing no constraints of plane walls. The technology also enabled continuous reinforced concrete footing and three-layer walls with outer layers printed with concrete and the middle being reinforced concrete. The final construction schedule came down to just 43 days, much shorter than conventional construction methods and with less material wastage.

“Utilizing the full form-freedom of 3D Construction Printing with this masterpiece project, Larsen & Toubro is perfectly showing how the technology is well implemented. We’re honored to collaborate with innovators who not only envision the future but actively shape it. I cannot wait to see more great projects coming from Larsen & Toubro in the near future!’

– Simon Klint Bergh, Co-Founder and Head of APAC, COBOD

3D printing’s USP is to enable individual customisation of the structure which can play an integral role in housing-related construction. 3D printing also enables incorporation of weather-proofing as well as utilities within the walls for more efficient construction. Thus allowing the delivery of quality houses anywhere, including in difficult terrains.

About Manufactur3D: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Indian Scenario page for more updates on 3D Printing News from India. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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About author
Abhimanyu Chavan is the founder of Manufactur3D Magazine. He writes on Additive Manufacturing technology, interviews industry leaders, shares industry insights, and expresses his thoughts on the latest developments in the industry. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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