Published on June 30, 2021 by Mikahila L.

Class is in session at the world’s first 3D-printed school. Located in Malawi, the school was built by 14Trees, a joint venture between Holcim and the UK’s CDC Group, using a BOD2 printer from Danish 3D construction robot printer company COBOD. The innovative application of 3D printing technology resulted in reduced cost, time, and materials traditionally expended when building schools and housing. Furthermore, the build also had an environmental footprint that was more than 50% less than traditional build methods. “I am very impressed by the new building – its durability and design provide the space and facilities that students did not have before. This school will attract more students, and those learners that had left will return to education,” says Juliana Kuphanga Chikandila, Primary Education Advisor, representing the Director of Education, Youth, and Sports in Malawi.

In alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which address the global challenges humanity faces, including poverty, inequality, climate change, and environmental degradation, the school was built with the goal of accelerating the provision of affordable housing and schools across the continent of Africa. Ultimately, this 3D-printed school highlights the potential for the application of 3D printing for education infrastructure globally. The new technology also brings about opportunities for local people to be trained as 3D machine operators and specialists, as well as the creation of highly skilled jobs.