Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe is set to deliver first 3D concrete homes in Zimbabwe. According to the company, to showcase the capabilities of 3D printing, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe will construct 10 units in Knockmalloch under the affordable housing project currently underway.
“These 3D concrete homes in Zimbabwe will afford relevant stakeholders to witness and experience the capabilities of this and innovative technology and it is anticipated that this will attract more projects towards the use of the technology to provide decent affordable housing,” the company said.
3D concrete homes
This technology was developed by LafargeHolcim through its subsidiary 14 Trees and the new dry mortar mix plant will be producing the required 3D printing ink for local projects. The 3D printing technology uses computer-aided design (CAD) to create three-dimensional objects through a layering method. It simply involves layering materials, like plastics, composites or bio-materials to create objects that range in shape, size, rigidity and colour.
The process consists of a printer with a robot with a mechanical arm that can move on a track in different directions to lay mortar in a pattern on a print-bed as designed on a computer. The dry mortar in a silo is mixed with water in a mixer and pumped via a hose to a nozzle mounted on the end of the robot arm.
A 3D printed home can be completed in just 12 hours, compared to four days using normal construction methods. The company says the technology can reduce its carbon footprint by up to 70%, helping Zimbabwe and other African countries on the project to fight climate change.