Innovation That Matters

Public toilet | Photo source Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Singapore researchers can 3D print a new bathroom in hours


The new technology uses a new printing process and a special formula for the cement

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Spotted: Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University have developed a way to 3D print a bathroom in a few hours. The secret is in the cement, which is fluid enough to be used in the 3D printing device. It also dries quickly so the next layer can be added.

The process has the potential to cut the time to build prefabricated, unfurnished bathrooms by 30 percent, according to the university.  After the printing, sink, mirror, shower, toilet bowl, ceramic tiled walls and flooring, including concealed drains and piping are added.

The technology could reduce costs for construction. Associate Prof Tan Ming Jen, who led the team, says the technology could lower transport costs, carbon emissions and waste. It could also improve safety on the construction site, he says, because the printing is done by robots.

The team also had to develop new systems for printing and controlling the flow rate for the cement. The process is currently being tested for water absorption and fire resistance. It has already met the strength and robustness requirements set by Singapore building law.




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