World's First 3D-Printed School Opens in Africa, Took Less Than a Day to Build

In recent years, 3D-printing technology has become a tool that construction companies are increasingly exploring. It has been demonstrated that this building method helps with cost, speed, and waste savings. Given its advantages, this relatively new tech was also utilized to construct Africa's first 3D printed school.
The first 3D-printed school in the world opened up in Africa and it only took 12 hours to be built 6 photos
Photo: LafargeHolcim via Bennie Khanyizira
The world's first 3D-printed school opens up in AfricaThe world's first 3D-printed school opens up in AfricaThe world's first 3D-printed school opens up in AfricaThe world's first 3D-printed school opens up in AfricaThe world's first 3D-printed school opens up in Africa
Built by 14Trees, a LafargeHolcim and CDC Group joint venture, the school was inaugurated in Malawi's Salima district. Printed in less than a day (compared to several days with conventional building methods), the school was born out of the need to address Africa's huge housing shortage.

This is the region's 13th school out of a total of 50 that need to be constructed in the Yambe zone. Along with housing needs, Malawi is in desperate need of new schools, with UNICEF estimating that the country's 36,000 classroom gap will take 70 years to fill. 14Trees believes that with the help of 3D printing, this gap might be closed in as little as ten years.

With the world's first school standing as proof, 3D printing can play a significant role in building classrooms for children across the country in a sustainable and fast-paced fashion. The approach, which uses LafargeHolcim ink, will save the time, cost, and materials needed to construct houses and schools, while also lowering their environmental impact by more than half when compared to traditional methods.

Because it stands out from the rest of Africa's buildings, this new school will also attract more children, and it will help the education system. On June 21st, it was officially transferred to the Kalonga village community in the Yambe zone of the Salima district, where students began attending classes.

In addition to the 3D-printed school, 14Trees also created its first 3D prototype house in Lilongwe, Malawi, in a record time of only 12 hours, compared to nearly four days required for regular construction methods. Currently, the company is seeking to implement the technology across a broader region, with projects in Kenya and Zimbabwe already in the works.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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