3-D printed toilets coming to India

Posted on 04 Feb 2018 and read 410 times
3-D printed toilets coming to IndiaSingapore-based Hamilton Labs is developing 3-D printable toilets to help improve poor sanitary conditions in India.

Made with Hamilton’s robotic HamilBot Mark 1 3-D printer using a recycled cement mix, they will be used in the Madhubani and Darbhanga districts of Bihar.

It is no secret that poor sanitation is a big problem in many areas of India, which is the second most populous country in the world.

UNICEF estimates that around 524 million people — almost half its population — do not have access to toilets.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has pledged to eliminate ‘open defecation’ by 2019, and around 60 million new toilets have been built so far, but around 40 million more are needed.

Hamilton has signed an agreement with India’s Center for Rural Information and Action (CRIA) to use one of its robotic 3-D printing systems to make concrete toilets.

The company says its HamilBot Mark 1 can quickly build the required type of toilets.

Dr Shyam Anand Jha, who has been working on India’s sanitary problem for several years, says that the region is severely lacking in trained craftsmen who can build the required toilets, and that the government has not provided adequate funds for the region to meet its goals.

“In this respect,” he says, “Hamilton’s affordable 3-D printed toilets could really help.”

The special cement that will be used is made from recycled fly ash, a coal-combustion product that is available in abundance in countries with coal-fired power plants. The 3-D printer expected to arrive at its destination later this month.

This is not the first case of 3-D printing being used to make toilets. In 2015, the China International Tourism Expo exhibited a number of additively manufactured sanitary units, including an eye-catching yellow and black 3-D printed toilet made by Shanghai Huajie Eco-environment Engineering.

That structure, however, was made more as a luxury than a necessity.

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