Home » Young entrepreneur opens 3D-printed school in Madagascar

Young entrepreneur opens 3D-printed school in Madagascar

by Sion Geschwindt
Young entrepreneur opens 3D-printed school in Madagascar

Thinking Huts, a nonprofit dedicated to making education more accessible with humanitarian-driven technology solutions, has completed its first 3D printed school in Madagascar.

The school is one of only two 3D-printed schools in the world.

Thinking Huts was founded in 2015 by Maggie Grout, a 22-year old social entrepreneur from the US, to close the “global education opportunity gap” using 3D-printing technology.

Maggie Grout, Founder and CEO of Thinking Huts, said: “The past two years have shed light on the urgency of human-centric, innovative solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

“We look forward to growing as we address the need for schools while bringing people together and inspiring the next generation to make a difference. This is only the beginning.”

The world’s second 3d-rpinted school – Hut v1.0 “Bougainvillea” (credit: Thinking Huts)

The architectural design was created by Bruno Silva and Yash Mehta of Defining Humanity based upon Grout’s honeycomb vision.

The local construction was managed by SECOA. For the 3D printing of the pilot, Thinking Huts partnered with 14 Trees, a company that has printed buildings in Kenya and Malawi.

Hut v1.0 (“Bougainvillea”) will be replicated in both urban and rural locations where the need is greatest as Thinking Huts localises the design based on community feedback and environmental considerations.

Scaled honeycomb campuses of multiple connecting Huts are next on the roadmap.

The school’s 3D printed walls consist of a cement mixture, with locally-sourced materials making up the roof, door, and windows. The NGO says this hybrid design involves local manufacturers in the construction process while teaching 3D operational skills that can be utilised for future construction projects.

Madagascar was chosen as the first location due to personal connections on the ground, local support, the estimated need for over 22,000 schools due to overcrowding and long travel distances, as well as solar energy opportunities.

The nonprofit aims to scale its concept and build schools in partnership with communities throughout Madagascar – eventually throughout the world – to break cycles of poverty through education.

Image: Maggie Grout, Founder and CEO of Thinking Huts

Read next: China to build ‘world’s first’ 3D-printed hydroelectric dam

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