Bengaluru Inaugurated the First 3d-Printed Post Office in the Country
The Union Minister for Railways, Communications, and Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, officially opened the country's first 3D printed post office on August 18 at Cambridge Layout in east of Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India. It is reported that this is the first 3D-printed commercial structure, spanning across 1,000 square feet built-up area.
Larsen and Toubro Construction used 3D printing technology to construct the post office. Initially, it was supposed to be completed in 45 days. However, the entire work was completed in 43 days! The structural design was assisted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras for the construction team.
The post office will house the Ulsoor Bazaar post office, which will now be known as Cambridge Layout post office.
During the inauguration, Mr. Vaishnaw praised Bengaluru's enthusiasm and energy, saying, "This city always presents a new picture of India." This 3D post office building, which also embodies the modern Indian spirit, is creating a new mindset driving the nation's advancement.
P. C. Mohan, the Bengaluru Central MP, suggested that several government agencies, in addition to the postal service, should incorporate 3D printing technology into their structures. “As the design can be customized to each site, it could be a cost-cutting solution,” he said.
This building was constructed using 3D printing technology, which reduces costs by 30-40% when compared to traditional building techniques. The technology not only saves time but also gives the building's shape greater flexibility. A special cover featuring a 3D printed building was released by the postal department.
The entire design of the post-office is its best feature. The building, which has a curving facade and a built-up area of 1,021 square feet, has a bell-like shape. The total expense was nearly less than Rs 25 lakh.
In this regard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, “Every Indian would be proud to see India’s first 3D printed post office at Cambridge Layout, Bengaluru. A testament to our nation’s innovation and progress, it also embodies the spirit of a self-reliant India. Compliments to those who have worked hard in ensuring the post office’s completion.”
In addition to a villa project in Bengaluru and buildings for a factory, L&T is currently working on a 3D printed building complex in Chandigarh for the Border Roads Organization, the company announced a release in April. The company stated that affordable housing up to ground plus floors, villas, military barracks, single-story schools, post offices, and factories are among its main areas of interest for construction.
A decade ago, large systems to handle 3D printing were developed by global companies, but until then, its applications in the construction sector were mostly limited to lab scale. This is in contrast to the manufacturing and medical sectors, where 3D printing has had a head start.
Around the world, researchers are focusing on three important facets of 3D printing: increasing sustainability, lowering the total cost of raw materials, and incorporating sustainabilty into the design. “Many of the concrete mixes used for 3D printing are rich in cement. Cutting down cement in concrete is a big challenge that most of us are engaged in,” said Santhanam. According to him, standards must change before 3D-printed construction so that it can be used commercially. “There are a lot of groups across the country- several IITs and others, working together. We are part of a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) committee and intend to bring out a handbook that talks about such design ideas.”