Known for its minimal adoption of technology and innovation, today’s Construction Industry in India faces numerous challenges. Population surge, rapid urbanization, increasing costs, long lead-times, heavy reliance on labor, wastage, and pollution are some of the major pitfalls that are pushing the industry to embrace efficient methods. However, the recent emergence of functional yet affordable additive manufacturing solutions could just be that ‘Sigh of relief’ the Construction Industry has been waiting for. Soon, the concept of ‘3D Printing a Home’ shall be a viable reality for low-income communities, not only in India but across the globe as well.
According to the Vedic Literature, the word ‘Tvasta’ (Sanskrit: Tvaṣṭā) is a metonym for ‘the heavenly builder’ – an ultimate shaper who is a visible form of creativity. Further, the Rig Veda also reveres ‘Tvasta’ as the Artisan of Gods – a maker of divine implements. Our work as a start-up particularly in the field of construction has been in accordance with this definition of our name. Recognizing the lack of innovative indigenous solutions in Additive Manufacturing and driven by the vision of making this technology affordable and easily realizable to all, Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions entered into 3D Printing in 2016. The start-up has since evolved into a strong 20-member organization, our small team has rapidly grown into a diverse group of engineers, researchers and industry personnel. With the dream of building a singular, unified ecosystem for the construction industry (architects, interior designers and all related professionals), Tvasta’s efforts have had a diverse technology focus aimed at providing end-to-end solutions, that include machine design, material formulation, software development, electrical engineering and process optimization.
“Enabling procurement of a house with the same ease as that of buying a car” – an objective envisioned by one of Tvasta’s co-founders, Vidyashankar, has so far been a constant driving force for the start-up, instrumental in its considerable progress. It is noteworthy that in the same year (2018) of being instituted both ‘The BEST Construction Start-up’ (Vishwakarma Award) and ‘The Best Start-Up of the Year’ (Technology Development Board), Tvasta erected ‘India’s FIRST 3D Printed Concrete Structure’. This prototype structure presently resides at the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras and serves as a foundation for accelerated R&D and testing. In addition to being a chief milestone for the start-up, the structure has also supplemented Tvasta’s work in making ‘Affordable Housing’ a reality for India.
In 2019, Tvasta was recognized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for its commendable work in pushing the frontiers of construction technology. Furthermore, the start-up was also given the unique opportunity of presenting its technology to The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. With the completion of its proprietary ‘Production Concrete Printer’, Tvasta was able to demonstrate the feasibility of ‘3D printing in Construction’ – a giant leap for the Indian Construction Industry in its journey towards fulfilling the basic needs of the common man.
Tvasta began its work towards construction of ‘India’s FIRST 3D Printed House’ In February 2020, with planning and procurement activities. However, project activities ceased owing to the lockdowns amidst the global pandemic (COVID-19). Though the onset of COVID-19, saw the halting of Tvasta’s operations, it did little to deter our hopes. All off-site work, such as design, process optimization, etc. still made headway through ‘work-from-home’, which aided the seamless evolution of the project during the on-site phases. Operations soon commenced in August resulting in the completion of 3D Structure. The 3D Printed House – a prime testament for Tvasta’s concerted endeavour – stands tall within the IIT Madras Campus, and serves as a constant source of inspiration for the organization. The pilot project is not only a technology demonstrator but also illustrates key advantages such as customizability, sustainability, time- and cost-related efficacies when compared to the traditional construction methods.
The road ahead will see Tvasta using its patented 3D Printing Technology to automate 80% of the construction processes whereby the entirety of the building process becomes cheaper, better and faster. Needless to say, it is with this scope of digitization and automation, enabled by 3D Printing, that Tvasta seeks to facilitate the provision of ‘Affordable Housing and Shelter for All’.