Executive Interview Series

[Interview] Simpliforge Creations Founder Amit Ghule sheds light on construction 3D printing innovations

In this recent interview, Amit Ghule, Founder of Simpliforge Creations highlighted the company’s 3D printing journey. Since 2018, Simpliforge Creations has provided 3D printing services spanning prototyping, reverse engineering, and low-volume manufacturing in domains like medical devices, branding, marketing, and interior design. Ghule emphasized the company’s holistic approach to developing “comprehensive solutions for the construction industry, with a focus on pushing the boundaries of additive manufacturing technology.”

He highlighted the company’s partnership with Aspuja Infratech in developing India’s first 3D printed temple, Simpliforge Creations’ portfolio, the total addressable market for construction 3D printing, and more.

“As the adage “Show, don’t tell” goes, we created multiple proof-of-concept structures, including some global and national firsts. This helped ease off inhibitions with the technology and generated curiosity and access for the stakeholders. Today, we see an active interest for 3D printed construction based on inquiries and upcoming projects,” says the Founder.

3D printed temple by Aspuja Infratech and Simpliforge Creations. Image via Simpliforge Creations.

3D printing India’s first place of worship

Simpliforge Creations made it to news headlines for constructing India’s first 3D printed temple in alliance with Aspuja Infratech. Located within Apsuja Infratech’s upcoming venture in Siddipet, the 3D printed temple graces the landscape as an elaborate tripartite formation, spanning an impressive 3,800 sq. ft. and soaring to 30 ft. Diverging from the extended timelines often associated with conventional construction approaches, this novel 3D printing technique commits to reducing the necessary duration by half, projecting a 2-3 month completion span from project commencement.

Apsuja Infratech is a client of Simpliforge wherein several 3D printed structures are being 3D printed and delivered to its ‘Charvitha Meadows’ Project, located in Siddipet, about 100 kms from Hyderabad. “Apsuja Infratech desired to build a temple in Charvitha Meadows as a unique structure embodying the theme of the project, futuristic technology, and sustainability. In line with this theme, it was decided to construct a 3D printed temple. To that effect, Simpliforge and Apsuja explored various concepts before finally settling on the current designs, which also comply with Agama Shastra (Hindu scripture),” explains the Founder.

Ghule also shed some light on other projects that were developed and are currently a “work in progress.” Apart from India’s first 3D printed temple, Simpliforge Creations constructed 3D printed bridge prototype for installation at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) and Charvitha, a compact 450 sq. ft. toilet block within Charvitha’s public amenity space, the installation of corals destined for an artificial pond, and the crafting of an array of outdoor furniture, including benches and chairs.

Simpliforge Creations also provides 3D printed services to the defense sector by developing 3D printed sentry posts, and a hospital functional unit for the defense wing of the Indian Armed Forces. At present, the company is focused on the ongoing phase II completion of the 3D printed place of worship, with a concurrent commitment to delivering projects for the Indian Armed Forces. “Simultaneously, we are vigorously advancing our in-house technological prowess, encompassing software, materials, and robotics,” he said.

Ongoing construction for defense hospital building. Image via Simpliforge Creations.
Ongoing construction for defense hospital building. Image via Simpliforge Creations.

Total addressable market and challenges in construction 3D printing 

Ghule explained that construction 3D printing is a nascent and fast-growing market, carving a niche for itself in the overall construction domain. As per a report, the 3D printing construction market was valued at $1,420.7 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $750,752.4 million by 2031, with a CAGR of 87.3% from 2022 to 2031. 

However, new use cases and applications are continually being incorporated into the technology’s scope, influenced by the depth and pace of advancements in related fields such as artificial intelligence, parametric design, material science, robotics, software, and computer vision, to name a few. The technology’s adoption varies across sub-domains; for instance, it is more pronounced in areas like defense, affordable housing, architecture, and disaster relief, whereas it is comparatively lower in sectors like real estate and public infrastructure, highlighted the Founder.

According to Ghule, construction 3D printing is a novel technology on a global level, to the extent that its regulations are still in the drafting phase. This technology fundamentally transforms construction practices, necessitating comprehensive education and awareness among all stakeholders, including buyers, developers, engineers, quality assurance personnel, architects, regulatory bodies, and insurers.

“Integrating a disruptive technology like 3D printed construction into existing workflows – be it as one-off construction, BIM integration, project management tools, quality control test protocols, etc. – is a gradual process. We have been handholding our partners, clients, and vendors through the same, working concurrently to create frameworks for successful application of this technology,” stated Ghule.

Simpliforge Creations’ state-of-the-art robotic 3D printer and novel material

Simpliforge Creations Simpliforge has developed its own robotic arm-based 3D printing system, complete with IP-protected material mixes and software. Currently working with multiple robotic systems, Simpliforge’s 3D printing systems can build structures with a range of 8.5 m at printing speeds as high as 500mm/s. The extendable extrusion system is capable of handling various cementitious materials providing flexibility in aesthetics, strength, and quality of output.

Ghule highlighted that Simpliforge Creations is in the process of developing the most robust, self-sustaining construction system fully capable of autonomous and semi-autonomous construction to provide creative housing, affordable housing, rapid construction, remote and extraterrestrial construction using in-house developed robotics, 3D printing, software, and Material design solutions.

Aligning with its stringent commitment towards sustainability, Simpliforge has developed its own 3D printable construction material dubbed SIMPLICRETE to reduce the usage of cement-based materials. Various material blends have been formulated, considering factors such as strength, aesthetics, sustainability, and affordability. These blends have been tailored to achieve compressive strengths ranging from 35 MPa to 50 MPa, while ongoing advancements to reach 80 MPa are currently in progress.

Simpliforge Creations' concrete 3D printer. Image via Simpliforge Creations.
Simpliforge Creations’ concrete 3D printer. Image via Simpliforge Creations.

Simpliforge Creations creates luxury with its 3D printing expertise

Simpliforge Creations recently delivered interior décor elements to GrabOn services which included life-sized statues portraying various emotions. As per the Founder, Simpliforge Creations played a pivotal role in the successful establishment of India’s first infantry museum, the second in Asia, located in MHOW, utilizing their expertise in 3D scanning, designing, and printing services.

“While the current system with Simpliforge relies on the principles of material extrusion, other 3D printing technologies such as binder jetting, and photo-polymer curing are also possible. Simpliforge takes pride in being a holistic additive manufacturing solutions provider regardless of the domain,” concluded the Founder. 

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Featured image shows Simpliforge Creations company logo. Image via Simpliforge Creations.