You’ve definitely heard of houses being 3D printed thanks to the latest concrete 3d printers that can even print a brand new house in 24 hours! But did you know that 3D printed toilets are soon to be a reality too?
It’s hard to believe that something as common as a toilet which is a necessity in our daily lives, is not so common in the lives of millions living in India. Many that do not have access to toilets even end up using public areas. Toilet scarcity is a national problem in India affecting more than half of India’s population and even resulting in deaths due to unhygienic conditions.
Luckily, Hamilton Labs, based in Singapore, is developing 3D printable toilets to help improve poor sanitary conditions in India. Using Hamilton’s robotic HamilBot Mark 1 3D printer, India is about to see a brand new change that could potentially save many lives and drastically improve the quality of life.
Scarcity of toilets in India
Being the second most populated country the world, India’s poor sanitation, and hygiene problems are definitely distressing. About 524 million people do not have access to local toilets, defecate in the open which further leads to diseases and deaths as the cycle goes on.
In order to change the current situation, the government has undertaken a pledge to make India an open defecation free country by 2019. But to make this dream a reality, construction of over 100 million toilets across the nation need to be funded. And though, around 60 million new toilets have been built, 40 million more are still needed.
The main reason why there aren’t sufficient toilets is that these regions are severely lacking in trained craftsmen who can construct the required toilets as well as low funding. Since Hamilton’s 3D printed toilets are much more affordable, India could see a big change.
Hamilton Labs lends a helping hand
Having signed an agreement with India’s Center for Rural Information and Action (CRIA) Hamilton plans to use one of its robotic 3D printing systems to build 3D printed concrete toilets in Bihar, Northern and Eastern India. Known as the HamilBot Mark 1, this robotic 3D printer will be used to build toilets that are comfortable, quick to print and beautiful to look at.
Working with Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), a collaborative 3D printing scheme organized by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore’s Hamilton Labs could be about to contribute massively to India’s sanitary project.
The 3D Printed Toilets
If you’re wondering what these 3D printed toilets will be made from- it’s definitely not your average PLA and ABS. A special cement made from recycled fly ash, which is a product of coal combustion will be used. This fly ash is abundantly available in countries that use coal-fired power plants like India.
Hamilton’s HamilBot Mark 1 3D printer which is powered by a robotic arm, is a large-scale 3D printer. Take a look at the printer in action:
HamilBot Mark 1 is capable of working 24/7 with theoretically minimal manual input. That cuts down not only cost but also the timing to construct these toilets, were it to be done by manual labour! The project to build these toilets in India is expected to start soon, with the robotic cement 3D printer expected to arrive at its destination later this month!
Its awe-inspiring to see such advancements in the 3D printing industry adnd we’re so ecited to see what’s in store for the future. Could there be a day where every single thing around is 3dprinted?? Well we’ll have to wait and see to find out!
Credits: 3ders.org, youtube.com