Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe to rollout first 3D houses in Zim

Lafarge cement Zimbabwe: Zim is employing a 3D printing technology to build houses
Lafarge cement Zimbabwe: Zim is employing a 3D printing technology to build houses

Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe will be rolling out 3D printed houses and schools

The Zimbabwean construction company, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe will soon be delivering great innovations for the Zimbabwean people by 3D printing building infrastructure. The company uses 3D-concrete printing technology in order to address the country’s chronic shortage of houses and government buildings infrastructure.

“To showcase the capabilities of 3D printing, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe will construct 10 units in Knockmalloch under the affordable housing project currently underway. This project 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 recently when President Mnangagwa commissioned the Dry Mortar Plant constructed at a cost of US$2,8 million.

Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe is a subsidiary of LafargeHolcin (a company that developed the 3D printing technology through its subsidiary 14 Trees).

The 3D printing technology uses Computer-aided Design CAD to create three-Dimensional concrete objects. It simply involves layering materials like plastic, composites, and biomaterial to create objects of different shapes and sizes. This technology involves a robot with an arm which brings the 3D image on the computer into reality. The robot mechanical arm moves around in all directions layering mortar and material as prescribed by the computer 3D image.

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.

The advantages and disadvantages of the 3D printing technology

One of the advantages of building houses and other buildings using 3D printing technology is that its quicker than doing building manually. According to sources, a 3D printed house can be completed in just 12 hours in comparison to build using the traditional methods which takes a minimum of four days.

Another advantage is that, 3D printing can help to reduce climate change. The company spokesman ( not mentioned by name) says the technology reduces its carbon footprint by up to 70 percent in Africa which reduces climate change.

The company also said 3D printing technology requires less cement and concrete which reduces the costs thus promoting sustainable house construction.

The disadvantages of 3D printing technology are quite obvious for our African countries in which Lafarge is invading. One of the major disadvantages is that unemployment is going to rise. Since Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe is going to replace manual labourers with a single machine it means all those who survived as builders will be unemployed.

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