Hyderabad-based construction firm Apsuja Infratech has joined forces with Mumbai’s additive manufacturing solutions provider Simpliforge Creations to construct the world’s first 3D printed temple.
Nestled within Apsuja Infratech’s forthcoming project in Siddipet, the 3D printed temple is an intricate tripartite structure across an expanse of 3,800 square feet, and 30 feet high. In contrast to the prolonged timeline typically associated with conventional construction methods, this 3D printed approach promises to halve the time required, with a projected completion window of 2-3 months from commencement.
“This structure demonstrates Simpliforge’s ability to print 51° and 32° in outward and inward cantilever, respectively while printing in-situ catering to the architectural and aesthetic requirements. This construction takes care of the structural requirements, principles of temple design, 3d printing requirements while dealing with the challenges of in-situ construction,” Simpliforge Creations CEO Dhruv Gandhi told Times of India (TOI).
3D printing technology builds a sacred space
Leading the 3D printing effort, Simpliforge harnesses its state-of-the-art robotic construction 3D printing facility, touted as the largest of its kind across South Asia, says the company. Employing its in-house developed system along with material and software, Simpliforge tackles the “intricate feat of realizing the 3D printed temple’s design and structure.”
“Completely printed on-site, the temple’s dome-shaped structures presented formidable challenges that required the team to employ bespoke design techniques, meticulous analysis, and innovative construction methods while following the principles of temple architecture resulting in this awe-inspiring architectural marvel,” said Apsuja Infratech’s Managing Director, Hari Krishna Jeedipalli.
Comprising three distinct sanctums, the temple is dedicated to different deities. The first sanctum is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and takes the form of a Modak, a traditional Indian sweet. The second sanctum consists of a square Shivalay (Shrine) devoted to Lord Shankar and a lotus-shaped chamber reserved for Goddess Parvati. Notably, the modak and Shivalay sections have been successfully completed, while the ongoing construction of the lotus chamber and towering spires (Gopurams) is in progress.
“This proof of concept also sets the stage for future applications of Simpliforge’s robust systems in inaccessible areas like frontiers, high altitude areas, deserts and snowy regions with applications in challenging terrain, disaster-hit areas, and defense applications. The enclosed dome-shaped structures eliminating the need for flat slab roofs paves the way for extra-terrestrial applications,” added Jeedipalli.
Symbolizing faith and innovation with 3D printing
3D printing technology has been used for construction many times before, and a 3D printed temple is a significant feat in the sector. But were any places of worship 3D printed in the past?
This year started off with an announcement made by Dubai’s Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) set to construct the world’s first 3D printed mosque, situated in the Bur Dubai neighborhood. This 2,000-square-meter mosque is expected to welcome 600 worshippers by 2025. Despite higher initial costs compared to conventional methods, the expense balance is projected to even out over time. IACAD’s focus on mosque sustainability and Islamic leadership drives this venture. Construction, beginning in October 2023, will employ a specialized concrete blend, aiming to reduce material waste and enhance sustainability. Employing a ‘robotic 3D printer,’ the process will involve three workers depositing materials at a rapid pace of two square meters per hour. The anticipated four-month construction period will be followed by a year-long furnishing phase. IACAD is working closely with Dubai Municipality for final design approval, aiming for the mosque’s opening within the next two years.
Don Ajamian Construction and Emergent 3D successfully erected the world’s first 3D printed church in Tehama County, California. Demonstrating novel construction techniques, the Lake California Community Church boasts 3D printed interior and exterior walls, incorporating COBOD‘s advanced concrete system. While the roof adhered to traditional construction methods and the church’s foundation featured a standard concrete slab, meticulous attention was paid to the inner walls. Designed by a distinguished engineer, these walls resemble elegant floor-to-ceiling curtains, yet possess a solid and unyielding structure, expertly directing sound waves toward the central audience.
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Featured image shows 3D printed temple by Aspuja Infratech and Simpliforge Creations. Image via Simpliforge Creations.