A 15-year-old Chinese immigrant, adopted as a baby by MapQuest’s founder, is using her adult ambition to use 3D printing to help more children get an education in Madagascar.
Maggie Grout’s non-profit organization is called “Thought hutsAnd they are raising funds to begin construction of a series of modular, honeycomb-shaped schools, powered by solar panels, which would be the world’s first 3D-printed schools.
Hundreds of millions of children have no schools to attend around the world, and Grout believes that one of the best ways to solve the problem is to reduce school construction costs. The initial pilot Thought hut in Madagascar it is expected to cost $ 20,000, and in a recent interview in the Smithsonian, Grout details how, in addition to being half the cost of traditional construction methods, 3D-printed buildings become cheaper when the project is scaled up.
In other words, the first house may cost $ 20,000, but the more houses that are built, the cheaper they become.
Despite the pandemic, construction of the first hut is expected to begin in the summer on the Ecole de Management et d’Innovation Technologique university campus in the city of Fianarantsoa, home to some 200,000 people in the far south of the island.
The 3D printer itself, at 6.5 feet, is provided by the Thinking Huts partner. Hyperion robotics, a Finnish 3D printing company that builds a hodgepodge of different elements, such as construction columns, garden furniture, and even artificial coral reefs.
“We will use locally sourced materials, being aware of our environmental impact, and we will implement more additive manufacturing processes as technology advances, adapting to the environment of each community,” says his plan for Hut v1.0.
“The initial plans require solar energy, Internet access, desks, chairs and tables. The cabin will have a secure door and working windows. “
Other features include pockets of space on the outside of the walls, which can be used for vertical farming or artificial rock climbing walls for the kids. The exterior will be decorated with traditional Malagasy textile patterns and local materials such as corrugated tin or wood carved by artisans.
Its honeycomb shape allows new cabins to be added to existing ones if the need for expansion arises.
Thinking Huts architect, Amir Mortazavi of San Francisco Study of the same name, he wants to maintain the local aesthetic appeal, wanting a building that blends in with its surroundings, more important than ever considering the sterile gray color of the 3D printing material.
“Deforestation is a major problem in Madagascar, which has a biodiverse ecosystem with many endemic species known only from the island,” Mortazavi said. Architectural overview. “We will undertake a reconnaissance trip there shortly to find the most sustainable supplier for our furniture supply in the near future, when it is possible and safe to travel there.”
To round out several schools, with travel, electricity and plumbing, and school supplies, Grout’s charity, a 501 (c) 3, has already raised $ 125,000. Not bad for a quinceañera.
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