3D Printing Construction

Gallery 3D Printing Construction  1
Gallery 3D Printing Construction  1
March 2021
By Holcim
Headquarters 6300 Zugo, Suíça

3D Printing Construction - Making homes and schools accessible for the poorest countries

This solution aims to accelerate the provision of schools in one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi. More than 36,000 classrooms are needed and thanks to 3D printing, all those buildings could be completed within 10 years. Through 14Trees, LafargeHolcim and CDC provide a solution to NGOs and international organizations which are currently delivering schools in that country. The solution is a printing service sold to organizations. Building design and construction execution is handled by the solution provider. This includes the manufacturing of LafargeHolcim 3D ink, and the operation of the printer, using only local staff. Pioneering in introducing 3D printing in Africa for the construction of schools and houses, 14Trees is now working on rolling out the solution in Kenya and Zimbabwe.

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Key features

  • The wall of a school can be printed in less than 18 hours and those of a house in less than 12 hours, meaning that from design to hand over, a project can be completed in less than two months for a school, and in less than a month for a house
  • Walls are printed with a width of 5 to 7cm which contributes to reducing by 50% the quantity of materials used
  • Use of 3D printing contributes to a 70% reduction in CO2 when compared with conventional methods (burnt bricks made school)
  • By printing homes, this solution saves 14 trees from being cut and burnt to fire the bricks (this is where the company name 14Trees comes from)
  • Thanks to the level of precision of 3D printing, material wastage on job site for wall construction is taken to almost zero compared to conventional constructions


  • 3D printing is expected to be 20% cheaper than conventional methods when used in projects of several units
  • 3D projects are delivered up to 50% faster than conventional projects.

Categories of Application

Maturity Stage

  • Medium and large scale commercialization
  • Small scale commercialization
  • Initial market commercialization
  • Prototype testing in the real world
  • Prototype testing 1:1 in the lab

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