Hamilton Labs, a division of Hamilton Holdings Pte Ltd based in Singapore, is known for taking on the toilet situation in India in response to the government’s Swachh Bharat Missions. Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, and rural areas. A close partner in this project is the Center for Rural Information and Action (CRIA).
The Singapore company is constructing the toilets through redesigning them for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) and 3D printing the component blocks for ease of assembly in the inaccessible areas throughout rural India. The components that make up the toilet units are packed together, with step by step instructions on the assembly process.
While 3D printed houses are in the early stages, Singapore based Hamilton Labs and Indian startup Morphedo are collaborating to 3D print toilets in India.
Morphedo is a product design and manufacturing company for businesses to access high quality custom parts on demand ranging from prototypes, small and medium batches to mass production. They execute New Product Development projects for industries like IoT, Drones and Aerospace, Engineering, and Packaging. They closely work with R&D department of startups, big companies and government helping them reduce their new product development cycle time and go-to-market time. Indian Government has recognized Morphedo as an innovative startup under its flagship Startup India plan. They are being supported and incubated by Nexus, a U.S Government Incubator. Morphedo is also a selected member of TIE Gold cohort program.
“It has been quite a journey for Hamilton Labs since we started in the middle of 2017.”, said Willy Ng at Hamilton Labs. “We set out to disrupt the building and construction spaces through additive manufacturing/3D printing while improving lives, saving lives. SBM’s motivations enabled us the platform to industrialize construction 3D printing by printing the building blocks for assembly in the most rural parts of India, thereby relieving the strains from the logistics difficulties.”
“We are very excited about the collaboration with Hamilton Labs to bring construction 3D printing to India, starting with creating social impact, by 3D printing SBM’s toilets.” Says Sushil, CEO, Morphedo. “Our next endeavor is to 3D print single-story affordable houses”, Willy added.
The potential of 3D printing in building and construction is immense, ranging from affordable housing to modern architectures. The two companies are working on fully integrated construction 3D printers which will bring in new dimensions and improved productivity to the construction industry. And, as part of the process of industrializing construction 3D printing, Hamilton Labs is launching an entry level, no frills gantry based concrete 3D printer. This model is 2x2x2m and is pre-installed with 1 movement only. “For our own intents and purposes for SBM, that movement is the building block for the assembly of the toilet set.”, Willy Ng said.
“Our entry level model IS as standardized as possible, as user-friendly as possible, as mobile as possible, as low-cost as possible. With our collaborators, we’re designing a “cartridge” to enable the consistent supply of the printing material, the extrudable mortar/concrete.”, Willy said, “Just plug-play-pour. We want to remove the hurdles to rapid adoption of construction 3D printing, starting from the basics of ease-of-use, cheap-to-use.”
Beyond the entry level model, upgrades, additions and customizations are available. For example, the pre-programmed single movement can be changed remotely by the Hub at Hamilton Labs in Singapore. Command and control functions can be integrated to allow users more in-situ flexibility. “A full production line of Hamilton Labs’ 3D printers can be designed and integrated for full industrialization platforms.”, said Willy.