3D printer for Africa launched by Holcim and UK government

3D printer Iroko from 14Trees
Image courtesy of 14Trees

A 3D printer intended for use in Africa has been launched by a joint venture between Swiss cement maker Holcim and the UK government’s British International Investment (BII) agency.

The JV, known as 14Trees, says its Iroko 3D printer has good speed, flexibility, scale and costs, and is able to build on almost any terrain.

The 3D printer is fitted with a material preparation and feed system compatible with a range of low-carbon “inks”. This, according to 14Trees, lowers a “building’s carbon footprint by up to 70% compared with traditional processes”.

It specialises in one- and two-storey residential and commercial structures, and is equipped with a multi-laser system that controls quality and safety.

BII managing director Abhinav Sinha said: “We are thrilled by the milestone that 14Trees has achieved to innovate 3D construction methods in Africa. This latest innovation will help to increase the availability of affordable housing, which is urgently needed on the continent, and also to decarbonise the construction sector.

“This goes to the heart of our mandate, which is to create productive, sustainable and inclusive outcomes and improve the lives of people in Africa.”

Delivery of the Iroko 3D printer is expected in the last quarter of 2023.

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