South African Government to Pilot 3D-Printed Houses

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is conducting 3D-printed homes to focus on South Africa’s housing shortfall.  

During a presentation to parliament this week, the department said that 25 housing units had been allocated for the demonstration through 3D printing technology. The project is organized in collaboration with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements.  

“During the search for an innovation-based system to improve the delivery of human settlements, the DSI is supporting the demonstration of 3D printing of houses through the use of additive materials technologies,” it said.  

“The following initiative is aligned with the country’s effort to move sustainable human settlements to green, smart, and sustainable settlements in the context of 4IR and climate change,” the company noted.  

Offering 3D-printed homes is part of a 10-year plan to establish sustainable human settlements.  

On his part, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated before that 3D-printed homes will be part of the government’s science and technology plans to help the economy’s recovery.  

3D-printed homes are still an emerging technology, while developing countries like Mexico are testing with 3D-printed homes to provide the deprived portion of the population.  

Vulcan II, one of the Giant 3D printers, can build a home in just 24 hours. It is done by using specially mixed concrete that hardens quickly, which the machine prints in a series of layers, creating a ridge-effect in the walls.  

“The initiative aligns with the countries effort to transition sustainable human settlements into smart, green, and sustainable settlements in the context of climate change,” it said.  

On its part, ICON stressed that its proprietary wall system and advanced materials are more robust and longer-lasting than traditional building materials. They also provide more resilient and safer homes designed to withstand extreme weather, reducing the impact of natural disasters and printing at high speeds and scale.  

U.S.-based construction companies Lennar and ICON announced in October 2021 plans to build a 100-home neighborhood using 3D-printing technologies. 

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